This eye-catching building was constructed by the Knights Hospitaller in the 13th century. It’s gone through multiple hands over the years, but since 1946 it has been under the control of the Knights of Rhodes’s successors, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The best ways to spot the House are from Via dei Fori Imperiali and from the Fori Imperiali.
The building has an impressive facade, graced by five large arches:
Off to one side is an enchanting little window.
The building includes a walkway leading behind Trajan’s Market to the brick tower, which was a 13th century defensive structure. Never a bad idea to be able to retreat to a tower in case times get bad.
Part of the ancient building was converted in 1946 into the Cappella di San Giovanni Battista dei Cavalieri di Rodi. Ironically, this is one of the “youngest” churches in all of Rome.
There are other properties in Rome owned by the Sovereign Order of Malta, but they are not in Italy. More on that in a future post.