Inquisitor's Palace

Historic Building in Vittoriosa

The Inquisitor's Palace was built in the 1530s and served as law courts until the 1570s, when it became the tribunal (and prison) of the Inquisition, whose task it was to find and suppress heresy. Today the palace houses a small ethnographic museum, but the most fascinating part of the building is the former prison cells, with elaborate carvings by prisoners on the walls. Particularly sinister is the torture chamber, with its rope contraptions for extracting confessions.

The building was strengthened in 1698, as before then a prisoner managed to dig his way out eight times in one year. Outside the prison warden's room there is a delicate sundial, carved by an 18th-century warden.