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Casa
Bernard

Casa
Bernard

A gem in Rabat's streets

Welcome to Casa Bernard, a 16th Century Palazzo which has recently been restored to its pristine splendour.

Casa Bernard is not a museum but our private family home, combining beautiful architectural features with a rich historical evolution.

Originally starting life as a mediaeval watch-tower built on Roman foundations, Casa Bernard progressed to a double-fronted Palazzo in the mid 16th Century, and was then given some Baroque additions later.

A Wealth Of History

Walk down any old winding Maltese street with limestone walls and wooden balconies, and you’ll find very few clues of what lies within the often crumbling façades. For hundreds of years, important houses in Malta were purposely built to give little indication of what lies inside, as it could be dangerous for its affluent owners.

Casa Bernard in Rabat is a case in point. Its façade is unpretentious and belies the history, elegance, and charm of what is inside.

We call Casa Bernard a 16th century palace but in truth the building has seen a gradual evolution over the centuries, starting off from Roman times. There are traces of Roman arches in the cellar, part of which is now utilised as a family chapel.

The restoration of the house is a work of love and attention to detail by Casa Bernard’s current owners. Its many historical features date from the Roman period to the Mediaeval and to the time of the Knights of St John.

Owners Past & Present

The name of the house – Casa Bernard – was chosen because in 1723 Dr Salvatore Bernard, who was of French origin and the personal physician of the Grand Master of Malta, started living in this palazzo.

The Bernards were a family of doctors and lived here until the second quarter of the 20th century. The current owners, Mr and Mrs Magri, only got their hands on this gem in 1993 when works to revive it to its former glory were started.

Your Visit

Guided Tours

Guided tours take you through the barrel-vaulted hallway, the chapel, the dining room, the three drawing rooms, the library, and the main bedroom, with a guide explaining the significance of pieces of furniture, paintings and objets d’art which till a short while ago were not available for public viewing. The visit ends with a tour of the courtyard and garden.

Our tours are held in English 🇬🇧, Maltese 🇲🇹, Italian 🇮🇹, and French 🇫🇷.

Authentic to the core

This magnificent house has a fascinating history and the tours are conducted by the knowledgeable owners themselves. Georges and Josette Magri, both teachers by profession, retired a few years ago and now live permanently in Casa Bernard and so the residence does not feel like a museum but a genuine reflection of the bygone local aristocratic way of life.

Award Winning

Casa Bernard won the 2006 Europa Nostra award in the Special Mention Category for its splendid restoration and was acclaimed as, “an exercise in good taste and as one of Malta’s hidden gems, full of the charm of bygone days.”

GALLERY

Get a taste of Casa Bernard

What our visitors have said

  • star rating  Unbelievable value. We turned up on the day, rang the buzzer on the front door and were then met by the property owner who still leaves here. I won't spoil... read more

    Stuart M
    November 4, 2019

    star rating  A very personal and informative tour from the charming owners of this lovely house - full of interesting detail and insight. You will see a magnificent collection of furniture, silver,... read more

    wsmaxwell
    October 7, 2019

    star rating  Great attraction, very interesting and the guide was very knowledgeable. One of the best historic houses on the island. A must see

    800rianng
    November 19, 2021
  • star rating  This is a beautiful house which has been lovingly renovated to bring out the best features of its historical past which dates back to roman times. The house has many... read more

    catpeople25
    July 20, 2020

    star rating  The owners of this beautiful house welcomed us and gave us a tour of their home. It was a wonderful experience and would recommend visiting this place.

    avatar thumb debwit62
    November 8, 2022

    star rating  A gem! An incredible host showing you her beautiful and interesting home. Definitely should not be missed.

    Ezra120
    September 24, 2021

Booking your tour

We are open Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm.

Other tours by appointment; please email us by clicking the button below

Find us:
Casa Bernard
46, Triq San Pawl
Ir-Rabat,
Malta

Address

Georges & Josette Magri

Casa Bernard

46, Triq San Pawl

Ir-Rabat,
Malta