SMOM The country with no land

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)

Fort St Angelo

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.


The emblem of SMOM above the entrance gate

me in front of the entrance gate ready to enter a new country

with my guide at the Magisterial Palace

The Magisterial Palace , residence of the Knight

a look inside the Knights home

One of the private rooms of the Knight had a balcony with a great view over Valletta at the other side of Birgu

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 terrace or courtyard

chilling area

St Anne’s Chapel

Inside St Anne’s Chapel

In Front of the St Anne’s Chapel there is a statue of St. John and 2 flag poles, one with the flag of Smom and the other with the Maltese flag

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)




2 thoughts on “SMOM The country with no land

  1. Hi Pol, how amazing that you also visited it!! I have also been to Rome and didn’t know about their HQ there but it is a city travellers like you and I may pass through again, so I will check out the other SMOOM base there next time. Safe travels. Jonny

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah Rome is one of my favorite cities in Europe together with Lisbon and Krakow. I will be back in Rome one day to support my club Lazio that I have been fan of since the early ninetees. Lisbon offcourse I like Benfica and Krakow as you know I’m a Wisla fan. This year my travelplans will be out of Europe , but yeah I will have to check out the other SMOOM next time I make it to Rome for sure, cheers


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