Roman Villa (Domvs Romana)

Museum Esplanade, Rabat , Malta

Museum

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 9:00 - 17:00

Roman Villa (Domvs Romana) Tickets
  • Adults: € 6.00
  • Youth/seniors: € 4.50
  • Children: € 3.00

Domvs Romana dates back to the last half of 2nd century BC. Roman town house and its mosaics pavements were discovered in 1881 just outside the walls of Mdina. Domvs Romana was the very first one to be opened to the public in Malta.

Roman Villa rank among the finest and oldest mosaic compositions from the western Mediterranean along side those Pompeii and Sicily. A museum of Roman Antiquities was open and, following further excavations of the site in the period 1920-40, additional exhibition space was completed in 1925.

The best features of Dumvs Romana are its well made polychrome mosaics found in the Peristyle and the surrounding rooms. The mosaics pavement of the central courtyard, which was ones surrounded by a Doric peristyle, is the most representative of the whole site. The centre piece of this meandered pavement shows two doves perched on the rim of a bowl, a highly popular motif the origins of which may be traced to a painting by an artist from Sophos. The best tradition of Hellenistic pictorial culture, together with the extremely fine technique, undoubtedly qualify the mosaic compositions of the Roman house in Rabat among the finest examples of Hellenistic mosaic art.

Main attractions within the Domvs Romana include Muslim tombstones, a draped female statue, a tiny bone baby rattle, bone hairpins, unguentaria and balsamari for oils and perfumes, rython drinking vessel, glass amphora, statues of the imperial cycle, peristyle mosaic and decorative architecture.