18th century baroque palazzo granted highest protection status possible

Villa Barbaro in Attard has been scheduled as a Grade 1 property

Villa Barbaro in Attard has been given the highest level of protection by the Planning Authority
Villa Barbaro in Attard has been given the highest level of protection by the Planning Authority

An 18th century baroque palazzo and its surrounding gardens have been given the highest protection status possible by the Planning Authority.

Villa Barbaro, situated in the heart of Attard’s village core, was scheduled as a Grade 1 property for its significant architectural and historical importance.

The single-storey property, which was built by the Barbaro family as a country retreat residence, is characterised by an imposing wide façade, separated into a number of bays by means of pilasters, and furnished with highly decorated windows.

Its most renowned and exceptional feature is the line of three reception rooms to the left of the main entrance hall, which was architecturally treated by playing with wall thicknesses, so as to create a straight axis eliminating the pronounced façade splay.

Perhaps the most interesting of the three rooms is the Zodiac Room, which is roofed by a central cross vault and barrel vault at each end.

The room is decorated with mythological and astrological subjects, and was purposely built by Marquis Carlo Antonio Barbaro to house his collection of antiquities, numismatics and natural history artefacts.

This collection constituted one of the first private museums on the island, and was visited by a number of foreign gentries.

The Marquis erected a wooden arch in front of his house in 1776, to greet Grand Master de Rohan's procession as he made his way from San Anton Palace to Mdina to make his solemn entry into the City after his election as Grand Master.

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