Valletta, Malta
La Sacra Infermeria

An ancient hospital with a story.

Many buildings have a fascinating past history to tell, and the Mediterranean Conference Centre is no different. It was once a hospital in the 16th century, built in the order of St. John and known as La Sacra Infermeria. Despite its old age, it is remarkably well-preserved and stands impeccably at its original site. From the outside, its smooth but weathered white brick façade gives no hint of the life and death that its wards have seen. What made this hospital unusual at the time of its inception was that it employed non-discriminatory criteria for admission. Slaves, women, and non-Catholics were all accepted and treated here. Even more remarkably, its state-of-the-art facilities were actually not too far off from our own standards of hygiene in the current day. All patients here were treated by the Knights of St. John, whose compassion and ethics were matched only by their tremendous skill in the field of medicine, to the extent of even complex surgical techniques. At that time, they were unparalleled in Europe. As you wander the vaulted underground halls, you will see real-life effigies of the sick being tended to by the Knights. It’s a fascinating look into the past from the present day.

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Tips Before You Go
Don’t miss out the pharmacy that has been reconstructed to look like it would have in the Knights’ era. And look out for the ‘Malta Fungus’, a species of tuber that the Knights particularly favoured as an effective dressing for wounds.
Triq l-Isptar, Il-Belt Valletta VLT 1645, Malta