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Location - Seat located at Magistral Palace, Rome; Capital - NA; Population - 13,500 members; Currency - Scudo (but the Euro in practice)

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is a lay Catholic religous order established in 1138 in Jerusalem to protect the faith and serve the poor. It's classed as a sovereign entity and issues passports, stamps and currency. It also has permanent observer status at the United Nations, though it does not possess any territory. And it's full name is a hefty The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. Phew!


MilitaryOrderMaltanoteThough more decorative than practical, it mints its own coins known as the Scudo (1 Scudo = 0.24 Euro). These are a Three Scudi and Two Tari dated 1968










ital281The Magistral Palace, or Palazzo Malta, is the Order's seat of government at Via dei Condotti, Rome


ital284The flag of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. It was founded in Jerusalem around 1048 and became a society of knights who defended the Catholic faith. It then moved to Rhodes before arriving in Malta - Rome




ital285The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order has its own government, an independent magistracy and diplomatic relations with over 100 countries - Rome














ital286The Order also has its own constitution, passports and stamps - Rome















ital297I went in search of the Order's other building in Rome, on Aventine Hill, Rome. This isn't it.


ital302The presence of the Italian army indicated I was close. The soldier is standing outside the church found opposite the Villa Malta - Rome




ital298The Villa Malta hosts the embassy of the Order to the Holy See and also to Italy. I was wondering why so many people were fascinated with the keyhole - Rome















ital299And this is why. Well almost.. - Rome















ital304Through the keyhole of the Villa Malta. St Peter's Basilica through an arch of cypress trees - Rome


ital301The Sovereign Military Order of Malta - Rome




slovenia73Among other cities, the Order has an office in Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia
















slovakia137The Military Order's embassy in Bratislava


slovakia100The Order's representatives had a Christmas stall on Hviezdoslavovo Nam selling hot drinks and handing out leaflets - Bratislava




austria134This building in Vienna seemed to be a church belonging to the Order rather than an embassy - Vienna






















sovmilitaryordermaltanewsA publication in Austria featuring the Order's current Grand Master



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