Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum is one of the most interesting medieval palaces in Malta due to its extensive collection of antiques, covering books, armory, paintings, oriental rugs, silverware, jewelry and many other art objects. At the same time, it is a beautiful old townhouse with impressive authentic interiors, a picturesque courtyard, a carved fountain and a shady gallery with many flowers and plants – a wonderful place to dive into Maltese historic atmosphere.
Palazzo Falson is believed to be one of the oldest constructions in Mdina, since its part was supposedly erected in the early 13th century. In the late 15th century and in the mid-16th century it underwent some architectural modifications, while about this time the building became a residence of the de Falsone family, after which it got the current name. Being reputable residents of Mdina, the family hosted Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller, when Malta was donated to the Order. But in the late 16th century, the palace was confiscated by the order of the Inquisition and passed to another noble family, after which it became known as Palazzo Cumbo-Navarra.
However, the most famous owner of this building was Olof Frederick Gollcher, the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He was a scientist, artist and philanthropist, as well as a passionate art collector, overtaken by the idea to preserve cultural heritage in Malta. He renovated the building and placed his large collection of books, armory and arts there. After his death the house and collection passed to a foundation established according to his will. The foundation made an agreement with Maltese Heritage Foundation, allowing to arrange the museum, which was opened in 2007.
Nowadays, the museum hosts 45 collections, among them more than 4 500 books and manuscripts, 800 items of silverware, 80 oriental rugs, 200 paintings and prints (including Anthony Van Dyck, Nicolas Poussin, etc.) and an impressive collection of antique weaponry. There are rather peculiar collections like whistles, smoking pipes and scent bottles which are exhibited in the museum from time to time. While observing the collections, visitors can get an idea of an authentic old Maltese house with its distinctive architectural and decorative elements, furniture and household items. On the roof of the palace there is a small cafe with the views of the island and St Paul's cathedral.