History and Culture

Malta has been influenced throughout history by various invaders and empires, walking around Malta and Gozo these influences are clear to see through grand buildings and architecture but some of it's history is hidden underground.

The Arabs conquered Malta & Gozo back in 870 AD. Up until 1530 Malta was under the rule of Sicily, as an extension of Sicily they were goverened by various conquering forces such as the Normans and many others but in 1530, Charles V bequeathed Malta to the Sovereign Military Order of St John of Jerusalem. The Knghts of St John ruled over Malta up to 1798 and during their time they shaped Malta as you see it today. The Great seige of 1565 is probably the most well known event in Malta's history fighting against the Ottoman Empire. 

1798 brought the rule of Napoleon Bonapart as the french took over, however, this did not last long with the Maltese requesting the help of England who blockaded the island in 1800. Malta was now under British rule until they gained their independence as late as 1964 although the Maltese adopted many of the British structure.
Malta has a rich history starting back in the Neolithic period. You can find remains of Neolithic temples in Malta dedicated to the goddess of fertility. There are plenty of temples to see including that of Ggantija Temples in Xaghra, Gozo. Carbon dating puts these temples as one of the oldest free standing structures in the world dating back around 6000 years - a full millenium before the Pyramids.
The megalithic Hypogeum is one of Malta's hidden historical sites which can be found in Paola. This underground structure was astonishingly only discovered in 1902, it holds the remains of around 7000 people. Dug by hand and using primitive tools, a large complex of chambers all interconnecting are set across 3 levels with the earliest remains dating back to around 4000 BC.
Tha famous Calypso Cave can be found in the Maltese islands, it is suggested to be the cave noted by Homer in the Odyssey in which the beautiful nymph Calypso imprisoned Odysseus for seven years as a 'prisoner of love'. The cave is located in Xaghra and overlooks Ramla Bay, one of the best beaches in Gozo with its golden red sand stretching about half a kilometre in length surrounded by countryside.
The Knights of St John revolutionaised Malta in terms of art and culture. Many a famous artist was commissioned to embelish palaces, auberges and churches. The Auberge of Aragon was built in 1571 and in recent years was the office of the Prime Minister, the Auberge of Castille in Valletta, built 1574, was the military headquarters during British rule and is home to the current office of the prime Minister. The Auberge of Italy was also built in 1574, over the years it was home to the National Museum of Malta, Superior Law Courts, however, during the war the building suffered major damage and is now used as government offices. Built in 1575, the Auberge of Province today houses the National Museum of Archeology but this building, as are all the Auberges, are great examples of the time of the Knights of St John and their influence in Malta's History.
The Inquisitor's Palace Malta was enlarged in 1574 to its current size. The Palace was suppressed in 1798 by Napoleon where it had previously housed 62 inquisitors, many of which became cardinals and included Fabio Chigi and Antonio Pignatelli who became popes, better know as Alexander VII and Innocent XII. The Inquisitors Palace underwent restoration in 1966 and the interior is grand and impressive and has since been turned into a museum.
The Sacra infermeria is another spectaular building reflecting much of Malta's past. This was one of the first buildings to be built in Valletta and was opened as a hospital ward in 1574 and continued to serve as a hospital up until the end of World War One. Unfortunately it was damaged in air raids during World War 2 but was re-opened in 1979 after re-construction and is now used mainly for conferences with the 151 metre hall as it lobby and a restaurant below.

World War 2 had a significant impact in Malta. Malta stood strong in what was a testing time and was taken to the brink of survival. There were more bombs dropped per square mile on Malta than any other country or area during the war. A shortage of food and fuel meant the Maltese were within days of catastrophy when a convoy of ships limped into the harbour escorting the tanker ship Ohio.
Operation Pedestal which is commanly known as the Santa Marija convoy, was a salvation but came at a cost with only 5 of the 14 merchant ships carrying supplies making it to Malta shores. Such was the importance, sacrafice and war effort of Malta, to this day Malta remains the only country to be awarded the George Cross. Today you can visit the Lascaris War Rooms that are dug into the rock below the Lascaris Bastions which formed the Malts's nerve centre for the defensive efforts. The Malta National War Museum is also a great place to visit.

Popular Deals / Malta Direct Deals

Bella Vista Hotel
Qawra, Malta

Bella Vista Hotel

A popular 4 star hotel located on the outskirts of Qawra ...
Package From
£195 PP
Qawra Point Holiday Complex
Qawra, Malta

Qawra Point Holiday Complex

A great base to experience Malta, set in the centre of th...
Package From
£214 PP
Plaza Regency Hotel
Sliema, Malta

Plaza Regency Hotel

Located on the seafront road near Balluta Bay, the friend...
Package From
£285 PP
Diplomat Hotel
Sliema, Malta

Diplomat Hotel

A great value 4 star hotel set in a prime position along ...
Package From
£311 PP
Downtown Hotel Gozo
Victoria, Gozo

Downtown Hotel Gozo

Set just off the main street in Victoria, this friendly h...
Package From
£324 PP
Cavalieri Hotel
St Julians, Malta

Cavalieri Hotel

Situated in a tranquil location and set on the water's ed...
Package From
£389 PP
Our Clients

Testimonials

Great service. From booking to the holiday itself, everything was perfect. Thank you
G Russell
02 Dec 2019
Malta is amazing, booking again for next year!
J Jones
01 Sep 2019
Perfectly organised, thank you for your help, great to call and talk to someone!
P Hardy
21 Nov 2019