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Malta

INTRODUCTION

The Republic of Malta is a small island nation located in the Mediterranean Sea. It has a long and rich history, from the Stone Age to Carthage, Rome, and even Byzantine rule. It is currently a member of the European Union.

The current population of this small nation is estimated to be about 400,000 with the capital, Valetta having a population of more than 7,000. Valettais also home to the Manoel Theater.

Major cities include:

Valetta HISTORY

Climate: Malta has traditional Mediterranean weather with wonderfully warm days and nights in summer followed by cool rainy winters Capital: Valletta

Currency: Lira - Currently 1 MTL = 2.8266 USD

Languages: Maltese and English

Power: 240 V, 50 Hz

Time Zone: DST +0200 UTC

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

ATTRACTIONS

Megaliths, medieval dungeons and Calypso's Cave - Malta is indeed mythical. The narrow cobblestone streets of its towns are crowded with Renaissance cathedrals and baroque palaces. The countryside is littered with the oldest known human structures in the world.

Palace & Armory

St. John’s Co-Cathedral and Museum

National Museum of Archeology

The Hypogeum

Museum of Roman Antiquities

Verdala Castle

The Inland Sea & Azure Window

Calypso’s Cave

Palace of the Grand Masters

The Hypogeum on Malta

LODGING

Sliema Chalet Hotel?

Radisson Sas Bay Point Resort?

PERSONAL STORIES

Since I was a little girl and listening to the stories my family would tell us about Malta, our heritage. The place we were born I wanted to go and see it all for myself. A lot of people don't realise how very historical the island is, an absolute jewel in the middle of the Mediterranean. From the arrival of man to Malta in 5200BC the place has been steeped in history, even the bible mentions Malta as St. Paul was shipwrecked there. I was one year old when we arrived in Australia so everything I learned about Malta was through my parents, Aunts and Uncles. Eyes wide listening of stories of ghosts and the wars and the history, so as you can imagine Malta was my first adventure out of Australia. The anticipation of landing on the island I had heard so much about was an awesome feeling. Everything about Malta was just like my parents had described, nothing much about the architecture had changed from their stories. The weather in summer is just fantastic I don't remember any humidity nor any mosquitoes. Malta has two kinds of beaches to choose from sandy or rocky. I personally loved St Paul's Bay a beautiful sandy beach and water so clear and shallow you can walk out for metres before you get to deep water. The palace of the Knights of St John in Valetta is also a must see and for anyone who didn't know before you will realize where the cross on the ambulances comes from and the significance behind the meaning. At the center of Mosta is a magnificent domed church, known as the Mosta Rotunda and built between the 1830's and 1860's. It is said to be the third largest unsupported church dome in Europe - superseded only by St Peter's in Rome and St Sophia in Istanbul. In World War II, the Church took a direct hit from a German bomb during mass. The bomb pierced the dome, but failed to explode. This event is now legendary. You can see a replica of the 200kg bomb in the sacristy. The Hypogeum, just southwest of the Three Cities in the suburb of Paolo, is a labyrinthine complex of man-made chambers hewn out of limestone, extending about 36ft (11m) below the surface. Experts believe it was used as a burial site and temple by Neolithic man, who used antlers and stone picks to carve out the labyrinth in semi-darkness nearly 5,000 years ago. The site has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Archaeologists have recovered numerous statues, amulets, figurines and vases, many of which are on display in the Archeology Museum in Valletta. I was lucky enough to visit the Hypogeum in 1979. I saw it in its natural state, my sons visited the site this year and not only had to make an appointment. To preserve it, now only a few people are allowed through at a scheduled time and walkways have been put down and the tour is guided by lighting that is turned off as you pass through a section. Then intrepidly on to my grandparents house where the star of my fathers stories resided "the ghost" and yes I did have a close encounter but that's another story. I am so glad two out of three of my children so far have visited Malta. My boys' view on Malta? "Mum it's all you said and much, much more." I hope that they will pass on the wonderful stories of our small part of this world to their children, as I have passed on to them from my father.

Marisa Lewis


 
 
 
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