time to explore with esplora
A hands-on science experience
for all ages
Esplora is a state-of-the-art Interactive Science Centre where students, educators, families, seniors and tourists alike can immerse themselves in a hands-on, science experience.
The aim is to being people closer to science, in a place where the magic of science is exposed, by means of embracing values in relation to exploration, imagination, appreciation and creation.
The Centre offers a vast array of interactive exhibits, workshops, shows, planetarium films, group activities and thematic, cultural events, as a non-formal learning tool for different audiences.
Through such activities, Esplora encourages the development of key skills required nowadays for personal growth, employability and active citizenship. They strive to give their visitors the opportunity to work in a team and communicate, harness creative and critical thinking skills and embrace problem-solving skills.
Esplora welcomes schools, private and public group visits and through its non-formal education programme, it ensures that a number of enjoyable, inclusive and family-friendly knowledge, skills and competences are tackled, with specific focus on soft skills. From creating a water tornado, to discovering Malta’s various rock types, to walking through a musical corridor, the Centre definitely offers something for all.
Fully accessible and also featuring an inclusive space where various events for and with people with disabilities are held, Esplora works in collaboration with the main adult centre for people with disabilities to ensure that it is fully inclusive. Together with several stakeholders, Autism-friendly hours are held on the last Sunday of every month, giving people living with Autism the opportunity to experience a different side of the Centre.
Visitors can embark on a journey through the history of the Royal Navy Hospital (RNI) Bighi. Go back in time, roam around the former hospital corridors, discover the medical innovations and advancements held on-site. Also, check out some of the protagonists of the hospital’s past.
Villa Bighi was built in 1675, to serve as the country home of Fra Giovanni Bichi, an Italian Knight of the Order of Saint John. When he died, the villa passed from one hand to another until 1822. Then, the grounds were allotted to the Royal Navy.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, Bighi was a major naval hospital in Malta. During the Crimean War, World War 1 and World War II, it contributed to the nursing and medical care of casualties, making Malta known as the ‘Nurse of the Mediterranean.’
The hospital’s west wing, mental ward, zymotic building, cot lift, chaplain’s house and hydrotherapy huts can be seen and appreciated, among other aspects, through a memorabilia collection exhibition.
What’s more, the EsploraCafe and EsploraShop invite visitors to grab a scrumptious bite to eat, whilst enjoying spectacular Grand Harbour views, as well as to get their hands on a myriad of cool tech gadgets.