Maltese Icons

Coat of arms of Malta

Flag of Malta

Civil Ensign

€2.00 Coin

Grandmaster La Valette

Georgio Borg Olivier (Granted Independence)

Mary Louise Coleiro Preca

(Incumbent President)


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Malta, officially the Republic of Malta is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the center of the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km east of Tunisia, with the Strait of Gibraltar 1,826 km to the west and Alexandria 1,510 km to the east.

Malta covers just over 300 km² in land area, making it one of the world's smallest and most densely populated countries. Its de facto capital is Valletta and the largest town is Birkirkara. The main island is made up of many small towns  with a population of 368,250. The country has two official languages – Maltese and English.

Throughout history, Malta's location has given it great strategic importance and a sequence of powers including the Phoenicians, Romans, Knights of St John, French and the British ruled the islands. Malta gained independence in 1964 and became a republic in 1974, whilst retaining membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. It is a member of the United Nations (since 1964) and a member of the European Union (since 2004).

Malta has a long Christian legacy. According to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul was shipwrecked on "Melite", and ministered there. Catholicism continues to be the official and dominant religion in Malta.

Malta is internationally renowned as a tourist resort, with numerous recreational areas and historical monuments, including nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, most prominently the Megalithic Temples which are the oldest free-standing structures in the world.

Valletta (A UNESCO Heritage Site)

Valletta was built as a result of the treat that the Ottoman Empire posed to Malta and Europe. In 1566, one year after the Great Siege of Malta, the Grandmaster Jean Parisot de Valette, decided that the peninsula flanked by two harbours had to be fortified without delay.

The streets were built in the shape of a grid making Valletta the first planned city of Europe. In just a few decades the Knights of Malta built the hospital, several palaces, churches, the bakery, the armoury, fortifications and the granaries. In 1731 the Grandmaster de Vilhena built the Manuel Theatre which is the oldest theatre still in use in Europe.

The population of Valletta is around 6,000 but thousands of commuters flock the streets every day. One only needs to mention the 1,000,000 tourists that visit the city every year.  People visit the capital for exhibitions, the Caravaggio masterpiece, cafes, restaurants, shops, offices and fashion. Some go to Valletta to experience the air, the streets and the architecture all full of history. Shady streets, sunny squares and gardens with fantastic views can all be found within walking distance of each other. The court rooms, the office of the prime minister and parliament are all situated in Valletta.

The beautiful and the dark, the old and the new, the happy and sad memories, all can be found in this UNESCO heritage site.

Timeline of Maltese History

From Temple building............

to the Eurozone!!!


5200 B.C. First Man in Malta

4100 B.C. – 3000 B.C. The Neolithic Temples are built

2500 B.C. - 700 B.C. Bronze Age Villages & First Fortifications

1000 B.C. the Maltese Islands are colonized by the Phoenicians

700 B.C. Carthaginians occupy Malta

218 B.C. Malta becomes part of the Roman Empire

60 A.D. Saint Paul is shipwrecked on Malta

395 A.D. Malta becomes part of the Byzantine Empire

870 The Arab Rule Begins

1091 Count Roger I of Sicily establishes Norman rule over Malta.

1194 Malta is ruled by the Swabians

1266 Malta is ruled by the Angevins.

1283 Malta is ruled by the Crown of Aragon.

1350 Malta becomes part of Kingdom of Sicily

1425 The Monry Incident Uprising

1427 Malta is incorporated into the Crown of Aragon (Kingdom of Sicily)

1530 The Knights of St. John granted rule over Malta

1551 The Great Siege of Gozo

1565 The Great Siege of Malta

1566 Valletta is founded

1798 Napoleon expels the Knights

1798 Maltese uprising against the French

1800 Britain takes Malta under its protection

1914 – 1918 Malta is dubbed the Nurse of the Mediterranean during World War I

1934 English and Maltese are declared the official languages of Malta

1940-1942: 6,700 tons of bombs are dropped on Malta during the World War II conflict (George Cross awarded)

1964 Malta becomes an Independent State

1974 Malta becomes a Republic

1979 Termination of the Military Base Agreement

2004 Malta becomes a full member state of the European Union.

2008 Malta adopts the euro, which replaces the Maltese lira.