History & Information
The Palazzo was built in the early 13th century, on the site of “La Rocca”, a building which was part of the defensive structure of Mdina in the Arab period (870–1091 AD), and further back to the Roman period prior to 870 AD.
Originally single-storeyed, changes were made to the Palazzo – including a second storey and the twin-light, Arabesque pillared windows – when Michele de Falsone inherited it in 1524. Further structural alterations were carried out prior to the arrival of the Knights of St John in Malta, and in preparation for accommodating the Grand Master, Philippe Villiers de L’Isle Adam (1530–1534) who resided in the Palazzo from 20th October until 5th November, 1531. Subsequently the Palazzo passed to the Cumbo-Navarro family and their heirs, before being purchased by Olof and his mother in 1927. After his mother’s death in 1935, Olof became the sole owner.
Captain Gollcher made a number of structural changes and renamed the palazzo “The Norman House”. On his death in 1962, he left the property to the Captain Olof Frederick Gollcher OBE Art and Archaeological Foundation – together with his extensive and varied heritage collection, with the wish that they be made accessible to the public.
The extensive restoration project carried out by Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti (Maltese Heritage Foundation) began in 2002, and the historic house museum opened as Palazzo Falson in May 2007.