The Gran Castello Historic House is housed in a cluster of late medieval houses within the Citadel – rare survivors from before the arrival of the Knights of St John. The musuem hosts a wide range of exhibits illustrating the local domestic, rural and traditional ways of life.
The houses – now interconnected – were probably built for wealthy families in the early 16th century. The architectural features show Sicilian and Catalan influences as well as a sophisticated Late Gothic style.
The exhibits on the ground floor relate to rural trades and skills like agriculture and stone-masonry. Traditional agricultural implements, blacksmith’s and carpenter’s tools and a variety of weights and measures stand alongside a range of different grinding mills. One substantial example occupies the centre of a large reconstructed mill-room.
The religious life of Gozo is represented on the mezzanine by an interesting ex-voto collection and, in a section on hobbies, by model churches. These are intricate, handmade miniature churches complete with furniture and religious accessories.
The first floor – once the living quarters of the resident families – hosts an exhibition about traditional Gozitan crafts including lace-making and weaving, along with displays about the cotton industry and the traditional fishing industry.