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Malta......Location and History Overview        Photo Gallery

Malta, officially the Republic of Malta, is a small and densely populated European County, comprising an archipelago of 5 islands, namely Malta, Gozo, Comino, Kemmunet and Filfla.  It is situated in Southern Europe, 93 km (58 mi) off the coast of Sicily, (Italy), and it is located in the Mediterranean Sea, giving the country a warm, Mediterranean climate.  The nation's capital city is the historic Valletta.

Throughout much of its history, Malta has been considered a crucial strategic location due in large part to its position in the Mediterranean Sea. It was held by several ancient cultures including the Sicilians, the Romans, the

Phoenicians, Byzantines and others. The island is commonly associated with the Knights of St. John who ruled it. This, along with the historic Biblical shipwreck of St. Paul on the island, ingrained the strong Roman Catholic legacy which is still the official and most practiced religion in Malta today.

The country's official languages are Maltese and English, although there are strong historical ties to the Italian language on the islands. Malta gained independence from Britain in 1964 and is currently a member of the European Union which it joined in 2004, in addition to being part of the British Commonwealth and the UN.

 

History

The strategic importance of Malta was recognized by the Phoenicians, who occupied it, as did, in turn, the Greeks, Carthaginians, and Romans. The apostle Paul was shipwrecked there in A.D. 60. With the division of the Roman Empire in A.D. 395, Malta was assigned to the eastern portion dominated by Constantinople. Between 870 and 1090, it came under Arab rule. In 1091, the Norman noble Roger I, then ruler of Sicily, came to Malta with a small retinue and defeated the Arabs. The Knights of St. John (Malta), who obtained the three habitable Maltese islands of Malta, Gozo, and Comino from Charles V in 1530, reached their highest fame when they withstood an attack by superior Turkish forces in 1565. Napoléon seized Malta in 1798, but the French forces were ousted by British troops the next year, and British rule was confirmed by the Treaty of Paris in 1814.

Malta was heavily attacked by German and Italian aircraft during World War II but was never invaded by the Axis powers. It became an independent nation on Sept. 21, 1964, and a republic on Dec. 13, 1974, but it remained in the British Commonwealth. In 1979, when its alliance with Great Britain ended, Malta sought to guarantee its neutrality through agreements with other countries. Although Malta applied for membership in the European Union, when the Labour Party won the election in Oct. 1996, it froze Malta's EU application and withdrew from the NATO Partnership for Peace program in an effort to maintain its neutrality. When the Nationalist Party won the Sept. 1998 elections, however, it revived the EU accession bid, and in May 2004 Malta joined the EU. In July 2005, it ratified the proposed EU constitution.

There are various places of interest in Malta and below is a basic list.       Photo Gallery

Valletta

Museums

  • Manoel Theatre Museum
  • National Museum of Fine Arts
  • St John's Museum
  • The Toy Museum
  • War Museum
Visual Shows
  • The Knights Hospitallers
  • The Great Siege of  Malta and The Knights of St John
  • The  Malta Experience
  • Sacred Island
  • The Wartime Experience
Churches
  • St John's Co-Cathedral
  • St Paul's Anglican pro-cathedral
  • Basilica of Our Lady of Porto
  • Salvo and St Dominic
  • St Paul Shipwrecked
  • Collegiate Church
  • Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
  • St Augustine's parish church
Gardens
  • Lower Barrakka Gardens
  • Upper Barrakka Gardens
  • Hastings
Historic Buildings
  • Casa Rocca Piccola
  • Grand Master's Palace
  • Lascaris War Rooms
  • Manoel Theatre
  • National Library
  • St James Cavalier Multimedia Exhibition
  • Traditions and Crafts of Malta
Rabat
  • Casa Bernard
  • Domus Romana
  • St Agatha's Catacombs
  • St Paul's Grotto
  • St Paul's Catacombs
  • Wignacourt College Museum
Ta' Qali
  • Aviation Museum
  • Crafts Village
  • Meridiana Wine Estate
Naxxar
  • Palazzo Parisio
Kalkara
  • Fort Rinella
Mosta
  • Mosta Dome- The Rotunda
Mdina
  • Knights of Malta
  • Mdina Dungeons
  • Mdina Experience Show
  • Medieval Times
  • Tales of The Silent City
  • The Cathedral
  • The Cathedral Museum
  • The Museum of Natural History
  • Palazzo Falson
Prehistoric Sites
  • Borg in-Nadur Temple, Birzebbuga
  • Bronze Age Wall, Birzebbuga
  • Cart Ruts, San Gwann and Ta'Cenc, Gozo
  • Ggantija Temples, Xaghra, Gozo
  • Ghar Dalam, Birzebbuga
  • Ghar il'Kbir, Dingli
  • Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples, Qrendi
  • Tarxien Temples, Tarxien
Vittoriosa
  • Auberge of England
  • Church of St Lawrence
  • Church of The Annunciation
  • Church Museum
  • Fort St Angelo
  • Malta at War Museum
  • Second World War Museum
  • The Maritime Museum
  • The Inquisitor's Palace
  • Vittoriosa 1565- Museum
Mgarr (Malta)
  • Bingemma Chapel
  • Lippija Tower
  • Mgarr Parish
  • Skorba Temples
  • Ta' Hagrat Temples
  • Tempra Museum
  • Victoria Lines
  • Wartime Shelter
Siggiewi
  • The Limestone Heritage Park & Gardens

Zabbar

  •  Sanctuary Museum (open daily from 9 a.m. to noon)
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