Villa Bighi

Valletta, Malta

Villa Bighi

Royal Naval Hospital Bighi (RNH Bighi) also known as Bighi Hospital, was a major naval hospital located in the small town of Kalkara on the island of Malta. It was built on the site of the gardens of Palazzo Bichi, that was periodically known as Palazzo Salvatore. RNH Bighi served the eastern Mediterranean in the 19th and 20th centuries and, in conjunction with the RN Hospital at Mtarfa, contributed to the nursing and medical care of casualties whenever hostilities occurred in the Mediterranean. The building is now known as Villa Bighi and it houses a restoration unit.

On the site of the current building is Palazzo Bichi (now Palazzo Bighi) also known as Villa Bichi, built in 1675 during the Order of St. John by Fra Giovanni Bichi on the designs of Lorenzo Gafa. Fra Giovanni Bichi was the nephew of Pope Alexander VII. The palace passed to his nephew Fra Mario Bichi, a member of the Order, even before it was finished as Fra Giovanni Bichi had died. He sold it to Bailiff Fra Giovanni Sigismondo, who was the Count of Schaesberg, in 1712. It was then known as Palazzo Salvatore and Gardens because of the hill being named Salvatore Hill.

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