Modern stone and glass Parliament building near Valletta City Gate at entrance to Valletta, Malta.  Designed by architect Renzo Piano of Renzo Piano Building Workshop and completed in 2014.

© Barry Winiker / Getty Images

Parliament Building


Renzo Piano's breathtaking Parliament Building was completed in 2014. Its design includes two massive volumes of stone that look suspended in air, but are supported by stilts. The blocks have been machine-cut to lighten their appearance, while reducing solar radiation and letting in daylight. Covering the rooftop are 600 sq metres of photovoltaic panels, which generate most of the energy required to heat the building in winter and cool it in summer.

The northern block contains the parliament chamber, while the south block accommodates MPs' offices. As little has changed architecturally in Valletta since it was established in the 16th and 17th centuries, it's unsurprising that Renzo Piano's modern and dramatic additions, including the Parliament Building, City Gate and Opera House, have proved controversial in Malta. Everyone definitely has an opinion on the buildings.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Valletta attractions

1. Royal Opera House

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Built in the 1860s, the once imperious Opera House was destroyed during a German air raid in 1942. Its gutted shell was left as a reminder of the war, and…

2. St James' Cavalier

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This 16th-century fortification has been transformed into a dazzling arts centre encompassing galleries, theatre and a cinema. Recent exhibitions have…

3. City Gate

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The Renzo Piano–designed City Gate forms part of the architect's dramatic and harmonious development. It echoes the dimensions of the original 1633…

4. Pjazza de Valette

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This square was inaugurated in 2012 on the site of the former police station. It's dedicated to Grand Master Valette, and dominated by a 2.5m-high statue…


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MUŻA is a 2018 incarnation of Malta's Museum of Fine Arts, which closed in a previous location in 2016. Sited in the Auberge d'Italie, a 16th-century…

6. Auberge de Castille

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On Pjazza Kastilja, pause to admire the facade of the Auberge de Castille, designed by the architect Andrea Belli in 1741. It adorns a 16th-century…

7. Palazzo Parisio

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Now housing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this mansion built in the 1740s combines neoclassical and baroque influences, and was the residence of…

8. Triton Fountain


Sculpted by Maltese sculptor Vincent Apap in 1959, this grand fountain has been restored to perfection and reopened in early 2018 in time for Valletta's…