A small island in the Mediterranean Sea where the sun shines 12 months a year, Malta has always been a famous beach resort. However, not many know that the island has rich historic heritage and any other Mediterranean island can hardly compete with Malta in terms of the number of places of interest.
The capital of the country, Valetta, is a true open air museum. The city is rich in beautiful churches, medieval palaces and fortresses. The Grandmaster’s Palace is considered the most beautiful building on the island. Nowadays, the palace is used as a residence of the president. Tourists are also recommended to visit St. Elmo Fortress and St. John’s Cathedral. These buildings of the 16th century are in wonderful condition and unleash the beauty and luxury of past centuries. Many palaces have been transformed into museums – Provence Palace is home to the largest Archaeological Museum in the country. The building of Admiralty has been turned into the Museum of Fine Arts.
The Armoury is a great place to get acquainted with the times of knight orders. Castile Palace and Palazzo Parisio are beautiful buildings that are also recommended for a visit. The city of Mdina is a very interesting destination. The city was built more than 4 thousand years ago, so there are many places of interest that belong to different epochs in Mdina. Travellers are recommended to visit the Greek Gates, the Casa Inguanez, St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Sofia’s Palace, Norman House, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Carmelites Church and the Mdina Prison.
The ancient temples of Mnajdra, Hagar Qim and Tarxien are among the most unusual sights of the island. According to scientists, the age of the temples exceeds 6 – 7 thousand years, which makes them approximately one thousand years older than the famous Giza Pyramids. These are truly unique buildings made of giant megaliths. There are many theories about the way how these temples were made, but currently it is still not possible to say exactly how people were able to use such giant stones for building.
Travellers, who want to know more about the Maltese Order, are recommended to visit such towns as Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua. Many centuries ago these fairly small towns formed one big protective system. First fortresses, impenetrable walls and deep ditches started appearing there yet in the beginning of the 16th century. Among the surviving buildings, the most beautiful and famous are St. Angelo Fort, Bishop’s Palace, the Palace of Inquisitors, St. Laurentius Church and the Church of Annunciation.
Read further: Cities and sights of Malta