The only country recognised by the United Nations that has no land is located in Fort St Angelo in Birgu on the Island of Malta.
If you have not heard about this before, then its nothing to feel embarrassed of as I also didn’t knew about its existence untill a friend of mine Jonny backpacked it.
The name of the country is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta or “The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta” and it has its own flag and as mentioned already its recognised internationally by more than 100 other countries in the world. St. John was the leader of the Order more on this person can be found on google and wikipedia (link)
First you enter Fort St Angelo which belongs to Malta you buy the entrance ticket at the reception desk and although the Fort brochure says you need to pre-book a visit to the upper part of the fort, it wasn’t a problem for me to visit this place. I just told the man at the reception that a friend of mine visited it a month earlier and that he recommended it to me and that I was interested in seeing the upper part of the Fort which is a new Country.
The upper part of Fort St Angelo is where the Order or country is situated. It’s private property and closed by a gate with above the gate the emblem of the Order.
I got a guided tour which is the only way to enter this private area of the fort. The guide opened the gate and I left Malta to enter into a new country SMOM = Sovereign Military Order of Malta. It was almost a 2 hour tour with a lot of history and interesting information about the place. Funny that there are 2 countries in one Fortress.
So what’s there to see on the upper level ?
The magisterial Palace the home for the only resident Knight on the Island of this Order with the St Anne’s Chapel and the adjoining terraces.
This part of the Fort is a 99-year-old lease that they have which was given to them in 1998 after an absence of 200 years. In a treaty signed by Malta and SMOM.
The Military Order of Malta has 2 lands that they own, first one is the one I visited which is the upper part of Fort St Angelo in Malta. The other one is in Rome, that’s where the Order has it’s capital. This is the address : Palazzo Malta Via dei Condotti 68, Rome, Italy
I have been in Rome several times a few years back and never knew I was so close to this address where the Order has its government with library. It’s close to the Spanish steps at the Piazza di Spagna.
If you want to know more about the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (aka SMOM) go check their Wikipedia page (link click here)