I don't know a ding-dang thing about Malta other than all the pictures look gorgeous. And, we might never pass this way again, so we should take advantage of the travel while we're in the general vicinity.
Right there! Below Sicily.
The Maltese islands have been coveted for their highly strategic position at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and Africa and, therefore, they've been controlled by a string of dominions over the centuries. In more "recent" history, Charles V of Spain--as King of Sicily--ceded the islands to the Order of the Knights of St. John in 1530. This was an assembly of English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, and Bavarian Knights who became the biggest influence in the eventual development of the islands. As a refuge for soldiers returning from the Crusades, Valletta is now the capital of Malta and a piece of living history. From what I've read, the city has an outstanding collection of original Baroque architecture, fortified city walls overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, and the spectacular Co-Cathedral of St. John. And this smallest of European capital cities is a world heritage site. Amazing. Wiki UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Knights of St. John's reign lasted until Napoleon Bonaparte seized the islands in 1798 at a time when the Knighthood had basically run its course. Napoleon was then defeated by Admiral Nelson's navy, beginning a lengthy period of English rule. This ended with the granting of independence in 1964, when Malta became a sovereign state within the British Commonwealth.
|The Capital : Valletta.|
|Apparently well known for all|
the balconies jutting out over the streets.
We should have enough time to see all that Valletta has to offer. The Grand Masters Palace which currently houses parliament and the office of the president. The Upper Barrakka Gardens, the Valletta waterfront, and the War Museum--which houses the Lascaris War Rooms that are still intact and exactly as they were on the last day of the war. The hubster has a big interest in WWII history, so he should totally dig that!
We've booked at The Phoenicia, billed as Malta's "imposing Grande Dame" situated at the entrance to Valletta in seven acres of gardens. It's all Art Deco-y and looks pretty fab. The travel agent recommended--so, here's hoping he knows what he's talking about! xx
|Pool area at the Phoenicia.|