San-Anton Palace, situated near Attard, arises interest among the visitors of Malta. Can it be in another way, since it is there where the official residence of the Maltese President is located?
The building was constructed in the period from 1623 to 1636. Originally it was the summer villa of the head of the Maltese order Grand Master Antoine de Paule. The Master constantly extended his residence, gradually adding new and new rooms: the exterior of the building was becoming more and more luxurious and that is how the villa turned into a real palace. It was evident, that such a great building couldn`t be without the name and Master de Paule called it in honor of his patron – Saint Anthony of Padua.
Throughout its history, the Palace had been used as the official residence of senior statesmen: during two centuries after de Paule`s death, all Great masters of Maltese order had been living there. In the days of the British Empire it was the residence of the governor of Malta and after gaining independence the official residence of the President of Malta is situated there. Numerous diplomatic meetings with the heads of other states are being held in the palace.
During all its history there were several reconstructions of the building and the palace got its actual look only in 1925. During military actions the Palace was the strategically important point: it was here, where the most famous generals worked out the strategies of numerous victorious battles. Despite the fact that the palace had been in the centre of war actions, neither the building nor the gardens had not been damaged.
Nowadays the building is the main tourist object of Malta. The entrance to the building is prohibited and strictly controlled by the guardians, but the surrounding areas are almost always opened to the visitors that arrive here in order to contemplate the elegant architecture and to walk through the streets of the wonderful garden surrounding the palace.