Castello Lanzun, Mensija
Home of the Grand Commandery of the Castello, Malta G.C.
Built in the18th Century, Castello Lanzun, or as it is locally known it-Torri ta’ Lanzun, today stands at the head of a road from St Julian’s and Spinola Bay and leads to the higher land plateau forming much of Malta’s geographic central interior. It is situated on the edge of a small hamlet called ‘Mensija’.
In the Maltese language, Mensija means ‘the forgotten’ or ‘the abandoned place’ and so far no one knows for certain why it is so called. In this dominating position stands Castello Lanzun. More detailed architectural information is available in a researched paper by Chev Anton Valentino on this website.
The ground floor consists of an Entrance Hall, an ecumenical Chapel, and fairly large inner Courtyard set and adorned with abundant shrubs, flower beds and bougainvillea. The former stables at the opposite end of the Courtyard from the Chapel have been nicely and appropriately converted into a large meeting hall, now called the Knights' Hall decorated with a number of heraldic adornments, pictures and photos. Most events throughout the year are held in the Knights’ Hall or in the Courtyard during the summer months. A Kitchen facility and a Store Room complete the ground floor.
On the first floor above the Chapel, there is the Grand Commandery’s Council Chamber which leads into another room that holds the Archives of the Order. A flagpole with a green eight-pointed cross correctly adorns the top of the tower part.
The acquisition of Castello Lanzun was the first time that the Order of St Lazarus was able to re-establish a permanent headquarters since it was dispossessed as a result of the French Revolution.
In 1973, the Castello was formally opened by the late Grand Master, His Excellency Don Francisco de Borbón y de Borbón, as both the Home of the Grand Commandery of the Castello and the then official Headquarters of the Order of St Lazarus.
Castello Lanzun is available to all Members of the Order.
Today, the Castello is recognized as one of the important historical buildings of Malta. It was scheduled as a Grade 1 building by the Planning Authority in 1984 meaning it enjoys special protection.