life through the lens
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!
Though 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
The Magistral Palace, or Palazzo Malta, is the Order's seat of government at Via dei Condotti, Rome
The 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
The 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
The Order also has its own constitution, passports and stamps - Rome
I went in search of the Order's other building in Rome, on Aventine Hill, Rome. This isn't it.
The presence of the Italian army indicated I was close. The soldier is standing outside the church found opposite the Villa Malta - Rome
The 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
And this is why. Well almost.. - Rome
Through the keyhole of the Villa Malta. St Peter's Basilica through an arch of cypress trees - Rome
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta - Rome
Among other cities, the Order has an office in Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia
The Military Order's embassy in Bratislava
The Order's representatives had a Christmas stall on Hviezdoslavovo Nam selling hot drinks and handing out leaflets - Bratislava
This building in Vienna seemed to be a church belonging to the Order rather than an embassy - Vienna
A publication in Austria featuring the Order's current Grand Master
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