A warm welcome
Freemasonry in Malta has an
ancient history and also provides
a warm welcome for Masonic
visitors, as John Morris explains
The home of the Masonic Hall in Valletta is the Casa Viani.
Known popularly among its members as No. 6&7, it is a two-storied
building constructed in the Italian tradition during
the time of the Knights of Malta and dates from c.1650.
Walter Rodwell Wright, Chief Justice of Malta from
1814–1826, founded the Lodge of St. John and St. Paul
No. 349 in 1815. He was the first Master of the Lodge and
Provincial Grand Master of Malta and the Mediterranean
Lodge meetings were held in Strait Street, Valletta during
the 19th & 20th centuries until the acquisition of Casa Viani in
1907 by Deputy District Grand Master A. M. Macfarlane on a
25-year lease for use as a Masonic hall.
During the time of the Knights of Malta, the owner or
tenant of Casa Viani lived on the upper floor or ‘Piano Nobile’,
whilst the ground floor or ‘Piano Terreno’ was occupied by the
Access between the two floors was by a winding staircase at
the back of the building, parts of which can still be seen to this
day. The original main entrance to the Piano Nobile was by a
flight of steps cut into the rock, which blocked the seaward end
of a cul-de-sac – Strada San Michelle – leading out of Strada
Ponente, which is now called West Street.