The Auberge de Bavière houses the main offices of the GPD,
including the Director General's Office, the Finance &
Administration Directorate, The Estate Management Directorate, the
Land Directorate and the Joint Office Directorate.
This Palace was built in 1696 by Fra Gaspare Carniero, Bali of
Acre, on the site of an old lime-kiln leased to the Balifor the
"term of two lives". At the end of this term the Treasury was to
receive twenty-one scudi per annum corresponding to the rent of the
previously existing building. The remaining balance was to go
towards the acquisition of bronze guns for the defence of the
fortress, or for the galleys, or towards the purchase of a gift
"gioia" for the Conventual Church-St John'sCo-Cathedral.
Between the 13th September 1702 and the 13th April 1719, the
Palace was let jointly to Fra Ottavio Zondadari, nephew of Pope
Alexander VII. Zondadari was elevated to Grand Master in 1720, and
according to tradition, the Palace continued to be his residence up
to the time of his death.
In 1725 Pope Benedict XIII presented Grand Master Antonio de
Vilhena with the "Stoc and Piliet"- (Sword and Hat), a signal
conferred by the Pope to Heads of State. As it was the first time
that this honour was given to a Grand Master, the news was received
with great jubilation in Malta and the event celebrated with due
ceremony. The Papal Legate,Mons. Giovanni Francesco Abbate Olivieri
arrived in Malta from Leghornon April 19th on board a French
vessel, and was conducted with due pomp to the Palazzo Carniero,
which had been magnificently furnished to accommodate this
When Grand Master Emanuel de Rohan instituted the Anglo-Bavarian
League, the Carnieri Palacewas brought to serve as its Auberge. The
Palace was given over to the Anglo-Bavarian Knights for the sum of
20,000 scudi - less than half of the real value of the property.
The Anglo-Bavarian Knights were entrusted with the defence of St.
Lazarus Bastion and their Chief was the Commander of Cavalry and
the Coast Guard.
In 1824, the building was handed to the British Military
Authorities who returned it to the Civil Government after
self-government was granted to the Island of Malta in 1921.
Despite suffering damages during the Second World War, these
were only minor ones and the Palace is still in its original state.
It has been used as a school and more recently has housed various
government departments. The GPD has used the Auberge as its
corporate base since the inception of the Department in 1997. The
former Land Directorate had been housed at the Auberge since
In 2001 an extensive Auberge de Bavière Rehabilitation Project
was initiated to make the building more suitable for the functional
needs of the GPD. This project was undertaken under the guidance of
the Restoration Unit
of the Works Division and aims to conserve the historical
nature of the building.