Unique bakery discovered during extensive restoration at Auberge d’Aragon
An extensive restoration at the Auberge d’Aragon led to the discovery of a unique bakery and other historic remains of the Knights era. It is expected that once the restoration works are completed at the Auberge, the historic heritage will be kept uncovered and accessible as another unique attraction of the Capital City.
The old bakery is thought to have been at the Auberge when this was built in 1571. It was discovered hidden under debris, most likely after a section of the building collapsed during the Sicilian earthquake of 1963, which was felt in Malta and caused great damage to the Auberge and the ‘Madonna tal-Pilar’ church.
The Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation chairman, Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, together with the Corporation’s chief executive, said that when they looked at the old designs of Architect Girolamo Cassar and what was discovered during restoration, they noticed something which did not match. So they unearthed the upper floor’s ground from one of the European Affairs Ministry’s offices and while descending, the bakery structure was uncovered. They believe that the bakery is unique in Valletta.
European Affairs and Equality Minister Edwards Zammit Lewis, whose ministry is situated at the Auberge d’Aragon, said that the building is one of the most important in the capital. Apart from maintaining its original design of Girolamo Cassar and it housed the knights of St John’s Order, the Auberge also served as the office of two Prime Ministers – George Borg Olivier and Duminku Mintoff.
The Auberge d’Aragon is scheduled as Grade One of National Monuments.