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Malta Travel Reading:

Ancient temples of Malta
Gozo - A Different Haven of Ease and Quiet
Malta: A Getaway For Both Young And Old
Malta - Great For A Sailing Holiday
Malta: Water And Light

Mdina, "The Walled, Silent City of Ghosts"
Qawra Travel Information
Sliema Travel Information
The Forts of Malta
Travel: A beginners guide to Malta, Europe
Visit Valletta To Walk The Many Streets

The Forts of Malta   by Tom West

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While many tourists flock to Malta for the sun, sea, and nightlife, this Mediterranean island's rich and illustrious history has also made it a treasure trove of archealogical buildings and sites. The variety of forts still standing on the island offer a unique insight into the battles and great empires of the past, and offer visitors a glimpse of a time long gone in many other places.
Knights at Grand Master's Palace, Valletta, Malta
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Fort St. Elmo stands as part of what is now the Valletta bastions; Valletta being the capital city of Malta. Initially the site of a watchtower, reinforcement began in 1533, after the arrival of the Knights of Malta in 1530. Later, it was Italian, French, Spanish and British architectural influences that governed the construction of what is now known as Fort St. Elmo. When the Ottoman Empire laid siege to the island of Malta in 1565, St. Elmo had become a working fort, and was the scene of the siege's most ferocious battles, with its garrison of 100 hundred knights, and seven hundred soldiers keeping the Turkish armies at bay for over a month until the fort eventually fell. The fort is still in working order today, and houses the police department's headquarters, as well as the war museum where the original George Cross, awarded to Malta, is still displayed.

Fort St. Angelo was the home of the powerful Nava family in the 14th Century - the Aragonese feudal lords of Malta at that time. The actual site actually dates back to early medieval times and was possibly built by the island's Arab rulers in the 11th Century, although the exact date of its construction remains unknown. The Knights of Malta chose to make this fort the seat of their Grand Master after their arrival in 1530, and Fort St.Angelo withstood the bombardment of the Turks during the Ottoman Empire's siege in 1565. After the siege, the Knights of Malta built the great fortress city of Valletta, and moved their headquarters there, but Fort St.Angelo remains until this day leased, in part, to The Knights of St. John, and is also the site of the maritime museum.
Fort St. Agatha in Mellieha, on the North of the island is also known as The Red Fort due to its distinctive colouration. Built by order of Grand Master Lascaris of the Knights of Malta, this fort protected against the Ottoman Empire as well as the Corsairs. It commands a spectacular view over Mellieha bay, and from this vantage point would have been able to closely observe enemy shipping around the North of the island. After its completion in 1648 it contained a garrison of 30 men, and artillery from 1649, and was a key watch post for the Knights. It is still open today.

There are many other forts on the island, all with a rich story to tell of times gone by and heroic deeds. The great clashes Malta has endured have always been the result of its strategic location between Europe and Africa, serving as a supply, trading, and military base for countless empires throughout the ages. 

Valletta, Malta
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But it's not only the military that left their mark on the island.

As Empires and peoples came and went, they also left signs of their faiths and religious practices, and apart from its military wonders, Malta is also home to some of the oldest known religious sites and temples in existence anywhere, predating the great pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge. For the traveller who's interested in more than just modern culture, Malta's history and the history of many great nations form the fabric of the island's modern landscape.

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About the Author - Thomas West writes articles as well a fiction and short scripts, and is currently developing websites and studying promotion.  Use these links to find out more about English in Malta.  Language schools in malta English courses in malta Malta language courses

Ancient temples of Malta   by Tom West
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On the sun drenched island of Malta, south of Sicily, and North of Tunisia, temples can be found which date back as far as any in the known world. Such a variety and quality of temples have been found on this little island, that visitors, historians, archaeologists, and students from around the globe have travelled to view their wonders, which span the archipelago of the three islands, Malta, Gozo, and Comino.

With a history full of Knights, invading and marauding empires, and strategic importance, Malta is, in many ways, a living museum to the great architectural forces of the past two thousand years, but its temples predate everything else by a long shot, and give an insight into times as far back as 5400 B.C; the earliest date from which evidence of settlers on the island has been found.

The Maltese Paleochristian catacombs of Abbatija Tad-Dejr are richly decorated, and some of the most important Christian catacombs South of Rome. Dating back to the late Roman, and Byzantine period, Mass was still celebrated here until 1575, and the site, on the outskirts of the town of Rabat is still open to the public today. These are an excellent example of the history of Christianity on the island, but further back, other religions were dominant on the island.

The Ggantija Temples in Xaghra, on Malta's neighbouring island of Gozo date back to between 3200 - 3600 BC, with a boundary wall containing Megaliths (large single stones) exceeding five metres in length and weighing over fifty tons. The name Ggantija is Maltese for 'giant' and local folklore tells of a giantess named 'Sansuna' who built the temples in a day by carrying the huge stones on her back with her baby under her arm. Many of the temples on Malta and Gozo have been linked to the idea of fertility, motherhood, and the cycles of life and the stars. Ggantija is thought to be the oldest free standing structure in the world, and is still open to visitors today.

The temple at Hagar Qim also dates back to the 'Ggantija' phase of Malta's history - between 3600 - 3200 B.C. It is known for the precision with which the giant megalithic stones have been placed together, a precision and level of skill which can only be compared to the architects of the Valley Temple, next to the Sphinx in Egypt - which the temples at Hagar Qim predate significantly. Statues of what are thought to be a 'mother goddess' have been moved from the temple to the museum in Malta's capital, Valletta, and the theme of the Mother Goddess pervades the structure with its womb-like configuration, and phallic menhirs marking its entrance. Evidence of rituals and worship have been found here, and at the neighbouring temple of Mnajdra where the skill and artistry of the architects seems to have grown further. Although some of the finest specimens of megalithic temples in the world, many of the island's heritage sites are in need of conservation, and Maltese bodies such as 'Heritage Malta', and 'Din L-Art Helwa' have begun to carry out the necessary work and fundraising to ensure these important structures survive.

There are many other temples, and religious sites on the islands, with a variety of different visitors; those wishing to study these amazing structures, those who've just come to get a glimpse of the past, artists who want to paint them, and students and families having a picnic in beautiful surroundings. Whatever people's reasons, the temples stand as monuments to culture and civilisation in Malta, and are much loved by this forward-looking island which embraces its unique and mysterious past.

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About the Author - Thomas West writes articles as well a fiction and short scripts, and is currently developing websites and studying promotion.  Use these links to find out more about English in Malta.  Language schools in malta English courses in malta Malta language courses

Visit Valletta To Walk The Many Streets   by Jessica Nielson
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Many people would not find walking the streets of Valletta intriguing enough for their holiday to Valletta, but the thing is that the streets are where you learn about the different sections of the city and see how the street evolved over the years. The streets are what make the area so unique and intriguing. To experience how the people live, you can walk the streets and see all the buildings that have restaurants, shops and cafés inside. There are so many streets to explore including Old Bakery Street, Freedom Square, St. Ursula Street, Strait Street and Old Treasury Street.

You will find that Old Treasury Street is a picture perfect sight at night. The arcade and quaint little cafés just make the street so beautiful. You can sit at any of the outdoor cafés and watch the people walk around browsing and having fun. The architecture in the area is amazing to see. The building that houses the arcade is spectacular at night. The light display is something to see. During the hot summer days, there are a few areas to sit in the shade, enjoy a cool drink, and relax for a while before continuing your walk.

Strait Street is another magnificent street to explore. The architecture of the buildings and the culture of the people are seen in this area. The street runs the length of the city and is filed with cafés and bars. It gives the appearance of the back streets of some towns and cities but is a great place to visit. At one time, it was considered the red light district and is sometimes still that way at night, but during the day, it is a different place. The street is skinny and a little rough looking, but it does give you some idea of how the people live in the area.

St Ursula Street is your typical street with hotels and incredible views of the Grand Harbour. Many people find there way down to this street and enjoy the area and al it offers. It is like looking down a narrow path, but still it is a street that is quite popular and visitors spend a great deal of time on the street. The locals are always wiling to talk and share some stories with you. The distinctive architecture tells you so much about the time when this street was first built. It does have the most incredible reputation for being the in place to see.

Freedom Square is another place to take a walk and see the area. You will find shopping and restaurants bustling with people. On Sunday, the street is deserted. It seems that people from this area stay home and do not come out on the street. It is perfect to see on a busy day and a quiet day. The difference is amazing. Old Bakery Street is old time and gives more of an authentic look. The old buildings and churches are nice to see and explore.

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About the Author - Visit our extensive holiday guides at cheap holidays 24. Also read our holiday guide to Valletta - Visit Valletta For A Touch Of History


St Julians Hotel Search
Corinthia Marina Hotel St George's Bay
The Corinthia Marina Hotel stands along the Mediterranean sea in the St. Julian's resort community located on St. Georges Bay in Malta. The hotel is positioned near the casino and the pulsating night life of Paceville. This hotel forms a section of the Corinthia Beach Resort that includes a private beach with water-sport activities. Eight On-site restaurants and bars include the Bay View Restaurant. This dining venue serves buffet-style breakfasts and dinners with a menu that includes pastas and international courses. Da Marina features pastas prepared with Italian and Maltese specialty sauces. Vinotheque is known for its continental fare, cheese platters, fine wine selections and pastries. Live bands and a pianist play at the Bay View Lounge.
Corinthia San Gorg Hotel St George's Bay
Offering unparralled luxury and comfort, the San Gorg Corinthia St Georges Bay is an ideal place for business travellers and holidaymakers.  Located in St. George's Bay, the hotel is only a 5 minute walk from Paceville, the vibrant centre of Maltese nightlife. This property is virtually surrounded by the Mediterranean and designed around cascading pools that lead down to a Lido, where locals and other foreign guests are welcome.  This hotel features 250 spacious and comfortable rooms that are facilitated with modern amenities. Each room has a balcony that offer splendid views of the sea.  For your dining pleasure, the hotel offers 2 restaurants that serve a variety of international cuisine. You can also relax at the cafe, with light snacks and beverages or sip on various cocktails served at the cosy bar.
Radisson Blu Resort, Malta St. Julian's, St George's Bay
The modern Radisson Blu Bay Point Resort is located on St George's Bay, Malta, 500 metres from the beach and one kilometre from the shops and nightlife of St Julians. Valletta, the capital city, is 10 kilometres from the hotel. Malta International Airport (Mla) is 12 kilometres away. A complimentary buffet breakfast is served in the Kon Tiki Restaurant, which offers a Mediterranean buffet accompanied by live piano music in the evenings. In the summer, there is alfresco dining at The Edge, with sea views and fresh fish dishes.  The intimate Le Petillant Restaurant specialises in flambeed dishes prepared at the table. Sandwiches and snacks are available on the terrace of Le Bistro, and the swim-up pool bar serves drinks in the summer months. 
The Westin Dragonara Resort Malta, St Julian's
The Westin Dragonara on the sea side of St Julian's, Malta, is an upscale, resort hotel that features unobstructed views of the sea from a private peninsula. Paceville and its nightlife is 100 meters from the hotel and the shops in Sliema 2 kilometers away. The capital city, Valletta, is 3 kilometers from the hotel and the old capital city of Mdina just 7 kilometers away. The Terrace Restaurant serves breakfasts, lunches and dinner with themed buffets. Fresh seafood is served for dinner at the Quadro Restaurant in an open air setting that offers views of the sea. Palio's Restaurant is open for lunches and dinners and serves Italian-style cuisine.  The hotel has two pools, a children's pool, sauna and hot tub. Also available are a fitness center, kids club and tennis courts. Wireless internet access is available throughout the hotel.
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Visit Valletta To Walk The Many Streets   by Jessica Nielson
Many people would not find walking the streets of Valletta intriguing enough for their holiday to Valletta, but the thing is that the streets are where you learn about the different sections of the city and see how the street evolved over the years... read more
Valletta Hotel Search
115 the Strand Aparthotel, Gzira near Valletta
115 The Strand Hotel is a modern apart-hotel offering views over the Valletta Bastions and situated in a bustling shopping and entertainment centre. It is 500 metres from Sliema Promenade and five kilometres from the capital. Amenities at this hotel include a spa tub on the rooftop terrace, surrounded by sun loungers and offering views of the harbour and Valletta. Cocktails can be ordered from the bar, and there is an outdoor pool, barbeques on the terrace, and a resident musician and live entertainment in the foyer lounge bar. Kids can find amusement in the games room, and internet connections are available in the lobby (surcharge).  115 The Strand Hotel offers air-conditioned 84 guestrooms and self-catering apartments located on eight floors.
Grand Hotel Excelsior, Valletta
Grand Hotel Excelsior is located in Valletta, Malta, within five kilometres of the towns of Sliema and St Julians. The archaeological sites of Vittoriosa, Cospicua, Senglea and Tarxien Temples are within three kilometres. The hotel is set amid 15,000 square metres of landscaped gardens and is surrounded by the 16th-century bastion walls of Valletta. Perched on the edge of the sea, this 10-storey hotel offers an indoor and outdoor swimming pool surrounded by a sundeck with sun beds and umbrellas. Staff are available at the front desk to organise airport transfers, limousine service and water taxis to Sliema town. There are five restaurants and four bars serving international, Mediterranean, Italian and Maltese dishes. 
Hotel Phoenicia, Valletta
The Phoenicia Hotel is located in the centre of Valletta, Malta, 200 metres from the beach and 300 metres from the Grand Harbour. The Malta Experience Show is one kilometre from the hotel, and the bustling towns of Sliema and St Julians Are five kilometres away. Malta International Airport (Mla) is eight kilometres from the hotel.  Breakfast is available (surcharge) in the Phoenix Restaurant, which serves local and Mediterranean cuisine for lunch and dinner.  Pastas and salads are on the menu in the more informal Pegasus Brasserie.  The Palm Court Lounge offers high tea, homemade cakes and lunch in spacious surroundings with comfortable sofas. Decorated in a colonial style, the Club Bar has an extensive list of wines, cocktails and champagne. The pool deck snack bar serves fresh fish and salads beside the outdoor pool.
The Osborne Hotel, Valletta
The Osborne Hotel is located in the Maltese capital of Valletta, within the baroque 'New Town' built by the Knights Of St John, founders of the city. Malta International Airport (Mla) is 12 kilometres from the hotel. The seven-storey Osborne Hotel features a rooftop spa tub. The adjacent sundecks offer panoramic views over the Valletta and Marsamxett harbours and the azure Mediterranean.  The Osborne Hotel's buffet-style restaurant serves local and international dishes. A vegetarian selection is available on request. The hotel bar serves drinks in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.  The 59 air-conditioned guestrooms are accessible by lift and offer satellite television and direct-dial telephones. Décor is bright, contemporary and colourful. 
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