a kaleidoscope of different civilizations, Malta is a celebration of sea
and the sun. An invitation to visit these beautiful islands in the Mediterranean.
For the accident of geography
has placed Malta on the crossroad between East and West, between Europe
to the north and Africa to the south. The island stands like a statute
at the entrance of the East Mediterranean sea. Where for five thousand
years, it has participated in the rise and fall of empires, in the birth
and growth of religions, and holocaust of bloody wars. Soon the Mediterranean
basin begun to be dominated by more war like nations. Over the period of
a thousand years, the Greeks, Etruscans, Persians, and Carthaginians attempted
the domination of the Mediterranean and its lucrative trade routes. In
midst of its all, coming with each and single power to terms, like a pool
in a vast multinational game of chess, stood the small island of Malta.
||Found in the heart of the
Mediterranean, 60 miles south of Sicily it is made up of Malta, the largest
island, Gozo and Comino. Like
a kaleidoscope of different civilizations, Malta has preserved all the
traces of its extraordinary past. From time immemorial, its beauty, honey-colored
stone and natural harbors had a reputation and influence.
Like a stone vessel at the
gates of Africa, Malta is a celebration of sea and sun. From its first
inhabitants, who built the colossal megalithic temples, to the terraced
fields, inherited from the Arabs, baroque churches, the Phoenicinas, Carthaginians,
Romans, Normans, Knights of St. John, whose Order created the first visionary
state, the French and the British, all left a historical legacy there.
FIVE THOUSAND YEARS OF
As the sun sets over the
blue Mediterranean, 5000 years of history leaves an unforgettable image.
Here tones have a soul. Some 5000 year ago, the island of Malta witnessed
the first traces of man. Dozen of mysterious megalithic temples were built
all over the islands. The huge stone complexes, which make the temples
of Ggantija, Hagar Qim, Mnajdra, Tarxien and Hypogeum at Hal Saflient,
thrill with imagination.
Originally, situated as a
land bridge linking Europe and Africa, the first settlers may have come
from Sicily with their traditional farming methods and their stone crafts.
Malta must have been a paradise island. To celebrate this, the islanders
dedicated their temples and status to the mother-goddess of fertility.
The mysterious disappearance of these highly artistic people in the Second
millennium was followed by waves of new settlers. Malta was open to a number
of new civilizations, particular from the East of the Mediterranean.
The Arabs presence was beneficial
for Malta and for Europe. They brought new mathematics, art, sciences,
assimilated from all countries of their empire. Europe has barley recovered
from the dark ages from Gotts and Vandals. The Arab brought light in a
world of shadow.
|THE KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN
During the Punic wars, the
Maltese islands were invaded by the Romans. Later on, the Phoenicians,
the Greek, the Carthaginians, all left their traces on the islands before
yielding them to the Arabs and then the Normans. But it was the Knights
of St. John who made them a player in the cultural area of 17th and 18th
By the year 800 the Arab
Empire had expanded to encompass Persia, Syria, North Africa and most of
Spain including Sicily and Malta. For the Maltese, the 200 years of Arab
rule were a time of peace and stability. Agricultural methods were revolutionized
with new techniques of irrigation and the introduction of many new crops.
Among them cotton, lemon, olives and figs.
VALLETTA A CITY OF BEAUTY
AND A SITE OF WORLD HERITAGE
The capital of Malta bears
the name of the French Grandmaster Jean de la Vallette who successfully
defended the islands against Ottoman attack. It was the first city built
according to detailed plans and its superb fortifications made it an impregnable
citadel. It is simultaneously a masterpiece of military architecture, a
cultural center, and a site of world heritage.
MDINA THE SILENT CITY
The old capital of Malta
- the city of Mdina - is a typical medieval town, situated in the center
of the island. Named "the silent city", it is a place of doors and walls,
not of people. It commands a magnificent view of the island.
THE ISLAND OF HONEY
The island main treasure
is its stone, a type of limestone which traps the light in its corners,
its panel and its curves. This golden stone, which earned Malta the name
of Melita "the island of honey", has inspired its architecture.
Malta loves to celebrate
and sparkle, religious feasts, carnivals, commemorative events, everything
is a good excuse for rejoicing. The Maltese have a flair for decoration.
The people of these small islands, can reflect on a rich and eventful history.
From this experience has grown an unique culture, and a people who despite
of their past - or perhaps because of it - remain cheerful and friendly
The "sirocco" kneads your
breath and clays it. It is a strange wind the sirocco - one is neither
here not there. You are neither of the earth nor the sky. It gives you
that feeling. Lights of ships shimmer on the water of Malta Grand Harbor.
The harbor now seems no bigger than a toy. The flat seawater like silver,
and clouds rise like leaves. A place of light, of luminous valleys under
thunderous clouds. There is the smell of wet earth. The smell of forgiveness
drifting from each house with the smell of varnish and a peace that drifted
out to the empty beach.
MALTA IN BRIEF
Country name: Republic of
Malta Capital: Valletta Language: Maltese (official), English (official)
Archipelago with only three largest islands inhabited, Malta, Ghawdex or
Gozo and Kemmuna or Comino Population: 391,670. Maltese are descendants
of ancient Carthaginians, and Phoenicians Area: 326 sq km, coastline 140
km Climate: Mediterranean with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summer
Natural resources: limestone, salt, arable land (38 percent) Environmental
issues: limited natural fresh water resources, increased desalination.
Economy: major resources are limestone, a favorable geographic location,
labor force. The economy is largely dependent on foreign trade, ship building
and repair, construction, manufacturing, tourism and services.
is also the newest EU member state. Travelling to Malta is a great
experience and you can get late
deals to Malta to make it the holiday of a lifetime.
Take advantage of some of
the best ever prices on flights
to Malta this year and explore this historic land for yourself