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Timeline of Palazzo Falson:

  • 13th Century: Palazzo Falson was originally a one-storey high courtyard house that was built around the first half of 13th century on the remains of an even earlier structure known as La Rocca.  This area has also been associated with a synagogue and there is a strong verbal tradition which holds that the refectory and kitchen area of the house were part of the synagogue structure where the Mdina jewish community worshipped;
  • 15th century: Architectural modifications to Palazzo Falson including a change in its orientation when the present façade on Villegaignon Street was built and the second storey was added
  • 16th century: Palazzo Falson was inhabited by the de Falsone family, the first securely documented residents of the palazzo. In the early 16th century this Palazzo was owned by Ambrosio de Falsone, who was the Head of the Town Council, and was then inherited by his cousin, the Vice-Admiral Michele Falsone.  At this time, further architectural changes were effected to the Palazzo in preparation for the visit of Grand Master Philippe Villiers de l’Isle Adam, who was hosted here in 1530 when he visited Mdina, after Malta was donated to the Knights of the Order of St. John by Emperor Charles V.
  • Late 16th century: Matteo Falson was held to be one of Palazzo Falson’s most notorious residents. He was Master of the Rod in Mdina, but fell foul of the Inquisition due to his Lutheran sympathies, and fled the island in 1574. The Inquisition seized his estates which included Palazzo Falson. Possession of the house eventually passed to the Cumbo-Navarra family and their descendants. 
  • 20th century: The most recent owner and resident of the Palazzo was Olof Frederick Gollcher. He bought part of the Palazzo, which had by now been split into different tenements, in 1927, and managed to purchase the rest of it some years later.  He renamed this Palazzo ‘The Norman House’ due to the stylistic features it displayed, which at the time were believed to be Siculo-Norman.
  • 21st century: In 2001, Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti (Maltese Heritage Foundation) entered a management agreement with the Capt. O. F. Gollcher O.B.E. Art & Archaeological Foundation, whereby Patrimonju was to restore Palazzo Falson to its former glory, and transform it into a Historic House Museum. Patrimonju is a non-profit making organisation established in 1992 to promote and disseminate Maltese cultural heritage through exhibitions, research and publications.  Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum opened to the public on the 4th May, 2007. 

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