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Torre dello Standardo
It-Torri tal-Istandard
Part of the fortifications of Mdina
Mdina, Malta
Torre dello Standardo, Turri di la bandiera.jpeg
View of the Torre dello Standardo
Type Tower
Coordinates Latitude:
Built 1725
Built by Order of St. John
Government of Malta
Open to
the public
Controlled by Restoration Directorate
Malta Tourism Authority

The Torre dello Standardo (English: Tower of the Standard, Maltese language: It-Torri tal-Istandard) is a tower in Mdina, Malta, forming part of the city's fortifications. It was built by the Order of St. John in 1725 on the site of an earlier tower, and its purpose was to communicate signals between Mdina and the rest of Malta. Today, the tower is in good condition, and it serves as a tourist information centre.


The Torre dello Standardo was built in 1725[1] to designs of the French military engineer Charles François de Mondion, as part of a project to rebuild the entrance to Mdina in the Baroque style during the magistracy of Grand Master António Manoel de Vilhena. The tower is located near the Mdina Gate, the main entrance of the city, and it was built on the site of a medieval tower called the Torre Mastra (Sicilian language: Turri Mastra) or the Torre de la Bandiera (Sicilian language: Turri dila Bandiera).[2] The Torre Mastra, like many other medieval buildings in Mdina, had suffered significant damage during the 1693 Sicily earthquake.[3] Both the Torre Mastra and the Torre dello Standardo served the same purpose to relay signals from Mdina to the rest of the island of Malta.[4]

In the 19th century, when the nearby Palazzo Vilhena was used as a sanatorium by the British military, the tower was used to house the porter and other servants of the sanatorium.[5] By 1888, it was being used as a Telegraph Office. The tower eventually became a police station,[6] until the police moved across the street to the former Maltacom Building in 2002.[7]

The tower, along with the rear of the Mdina Gate, was depicted on the Lm5 banknote that was in circulation between 1989 and 2007.[8]

Today, the tower is in good condition, and it is a tourist information centre.[9] It was included on the Antiquities List of 1925.[10] It is now scheduled as a Grade 1 national monument,[11] and it is also listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.[4]


Domed cylindrical stair-hood of the Torre dello Standardo (top) and that of Palazzo Stagno (bottom)

The Torre dello Standardo's design is similar to the coastal watchtowers such as the De Redin towers that the Order built in Malta during the 17th century. It has the same basic layout, with two floors and a scarped base. However, this tower is of finer construction than the coastal towers, having decorative Baroque elements such as mouldings, as well as escutcheons containing the coats of arms of De Vilhena and the city of Mdina. The tower has a cylindrical stair-hood with a dome, and this feature is similar to that found at Palazzo Stagno and the now-demolished Gourgion Tower.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Azzopardi, Joe (October 2013). "The Gourgion Tower - Gone but not Forgotten (Part 1)". Din l-Art Ħelwa. pp. 45–47. ISSN 1026-132X. Archived from the original on February 11, 2014. 
  2. Ellul, Michael (1998), "History on Marble: A Corpus of Inscriptions in the Presidential Palaces in Valletta, San Anton and Verdala, Malta", PEG Publishers Enterprises Group, ISBN 9789990901030, p. 302.
  3. Instituto Portuguûes do Património Arquitectónico e Arqueológico (1999), "Struggle for synthesis: a obra de arte total nos séculos XVII e XVIII, Volume 1", IPPAR, p. 142.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Torre dello Standardo – Mdina". 28 June 2013. Archived from the original on 5 July 2015. 
  5. "Staff Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison 1868". Archived from the original on 22 November 2013. 
  6. Guillaumier, Alfie (1987) (in Maltese). Bliet u Rħula Maltin. Valletta: Valletta Publishing & Promotion Co. Ltd.. p. 449. 
  7. "Mdina police station to move". Times of Malta. 10 May 2002. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. 
  8. "Maltese Lira". Archived from the original on 27 September 2015. 
  9. "Info Offices". Archived from the original on 6 September 2015. 
  10. "Protection of Antiquities Regulations 21st November, 1932 Government Notice 402 of 1932, as Amended by Government Notices 127 of 1935 and 338 of 1939.". Archived from the original on 20 April 2016. 
  11. "No. 348 – Development Planning Act, 1992 – Scheduling of Property". Malta Government Gazette. Government of Malta. 20 April 2001. p. 4015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. 

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