Museum of the Order of Malta


In the Middle Ages, many gifts of land allowed the Order of St John to build along all the great pilgrimage routes of Europe hospices for the care and the defense of pilgrims. In the year 1270, Geneva's Bishop offered Compesieres's church to the order of the Hospitallers. The Commandery was built in the fifteenth century and was probably completed in its medieval shape by the Commander of Luyrieux (1439-1452). After having been plundered by Geneveses in 1536, the castle became the residence of the Bernese baillifs until 1567.

Logo Museum

Jacques the First of Cordon d'Evieu (1616-1646), the Order's Marshall and Compesieres's Commander, restored the Commandery after this troubled period and had it completed with two buildings and a fortified portal which is today no longer to be seen. The last Commander, L.G.E. de Tulle de Villefranche left Compesieres after the French Revolution in the year 1792 and the Commandery was sold by auction in 1796. In 1816, Compesieres was given to the Helvetic Republic by the Kingdoms of Sardinia and France and recovered by the municipality in the year 1822.

From 1955, the Town Hall of Bardonnex placed a room of the Commandery at the Maltese Order's disposal to open its museum.

Museum's picture

The presented collections aim at giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, its actual charitable institution as well as life in Compesières's life considered as a typical Genevese chief town.

Visitors can see in particular the painted cross of the fifteenth century which embellished the Chapel of Mouxy, Compesières's outbuilding, and a golden baroque copper ostensory offered to the parish church by Commander Claude de Lescheraine in 1724.

Manuscripts of priorate's visits offer the opportunity of seeing how carefully the inventory of each commandery was drawn up.

The museum is open only on appointment and for guided tour.

To visit the museum, call, in Switzerland : 079 / 202 55 64 or e-mail-us

How to get to the museum ?

By car :

Highway : exit Plan-les-Ouates, follow Bardonnex.

By bus

Take bus n° 46, at Bachet de Pesay direction Bardonnex, until Compesières.

Copyright ©Museum of the Order of Malta / August 1999