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MALTA


Location - Mediterranean Europe; Capital - Valletta; Population - 420,000; Currency - Euro MORE MALTA

I timed a visit to Malta to coincide with Notte Bianca, held in the capital Valletta at the end of September.

 

euroMalta is a relative newcomer to the Euro zone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta4Valletta is a tiny capital situated at the head of a peninsula - Valletta

 

 

malta63It has a population of less than 7,000 - Valletta

 

 

malta7A Doric temple sits in the Lower Barrakka Gardens - Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta9Below the Lower Barrakka Gardens is the Siege Bell Memorial, which commemorates lost lives in WWII convoys from 1940-43.
Beyond is Ricasoli Fort - Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta10Fort St Angelo lies across the Grand Harbour in Vittoriosa - Valletta

 

 

malta14Dockyard Creek divides the towns of Vittoriosa (left) and Senglea, as seen from the Lower Barrakka Gardens in Valletta

 

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malta13aThe Upper Barrakka Gardens (the highest point in the photo) and Grand Harbour at Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta102Notte Bianca gets into full swing on Triq ir-Repubblika in Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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malta107The 18th century Auberge de Castille is now the Prime Minister's office - Valletta

 

 

malta105The Auberge de Castille is only open to the public on Notte Bianca (White Night), an evening in September where museums and government offices are open into the early hours, free of charge. Music and cultural performances take place, and bars & restaurants are heaving - Valletta

 

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malta111The grounds of the Upper Barrakka Gardens - Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta108A band performs at the Upper Barrakka Gardens on Notte Bianca - Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta114A few days after Notte Bianca the island celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Armed Forces of Malta. They performed at the Upper Barrakka Gardens - Valletta

 

 

malta110The Lower Barrakka Gardens can be seen from the Upper Barrakka Gardens. The bright building is the Gardens' Doric temple - Valletta

 

 

malta125Valletta was built in the 16th & 17th centuries, following the Great Siege of Malta in 1565.
The siege comprised the successful defence of the island by the Knights of St John against the Ottomans led by Suleyman the Magnificent - Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta16Ricasoli Fort, across the Grand Harbour from Valletta, where scenes from Gladiator and Troy were filmed - Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta19Below the Upper Barrakka Gardens are the cannons of the Saluting Battery. Across the Grand Harbour from the gardens is Senglea, one of the Three Cities (the others being Vittoriosa and Cospicua) - Valletta

 

 

malta22At the tip of Vittoriosa is Fort St Angelo - from Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta25Vittoriosa and a plethora of boats in Dockyard Creek - Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta29Look further to the right from the Upper Barrakka Gardens and you'll see the floatplane airstrip and Valletta Waterfont - Valletta

 

 

malta1The capital gets its name from the Knights' Grand Master at the time of the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, Jean Parisot de la Valette.
Work started on the construction of the fortified capital the following year - Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta6Valletta only measures about 1km²

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta117St James Cavalier houses art exhibitions, a theatre and cinema; I love the entrance - Valletta

 

 

malta32St Paul's Cathedral - Valletta

 

 

malta34Some great flags adorn the streets of Valletta in preparation for Notte Bianca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta36More flags in Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta41St John's Co-Cathedral dates to the 16th century - Valletta

 

 

malta42It has a status of co-cathedral as it was given equal status to St Paul's Cathedral in Mdina - St John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta

 

 

malta40Opposite the cathedral is St John's Square with its outdoor restaurant - Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta48Up for sale in Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta49From the top of Triq Zekka the Basilica of our Lady of Mount Carmel dominates - Valletta

 

 

malta52Another perfect place to lounge and people watch is Republic Square - Valletta

 

 

malta53aThe National Library overlooks Republic Square - Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta120The Royal Opera House was destroyed in World War II by a German air raid - Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta123The streets of Valletta

 

 

malta100The National War Museum houses Faith, the sole survivor of four Sea Gladiators (three of them were known as Faith, Hope and Charity) used by Malta defending the islands against Italy during World War II - Valletta

 

 

malta99Also in the National War Museum is a medal the nation is proud of. Malta is the only country to receive the George Cross, Britain's highest award for bravery, for its heroism during World War II.
The Cross, pictured, is the original; the letter from King George VI dated April 15th 1942 is a copy, the original now kept in Mdina:
'To honour her brave people I award the George Cross to the island fortress of Malta to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history' - Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta60The main entrance to Valletta is via the City Gate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta56Go to Hastings Gardens/St Michael's Bastion for a look out to Marsamxett Harbour and Sliema beyond - Valletta

 

 

malta5718th century Fort Manoel is situated on Manoel Island in Marsamxett Harbour - Valletta

 

 

malta59There's many religious statues dotted around Malta - Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta61The 16th century Church of St Paul's Shipwreck - Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta116malta115
Two notable establishments linked to the silver screen are:
- Hotel British (left) where some scenes from Spielberg's Munich were filmed
- The Pub (right) was a favourite of Oliver Reed while filming Gladiator; he was taken ill here and died minutes later - Valletta

 

 

malta65Buildings surrounding St George's Square in Valletta

 

 

malta70More live music on Notte Bianca, this time at St George's Square - Valletta

My YouTube video of the performance, though unfortunately my camera ran out of memory before I included them in the movie. Great voice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta68The 16th century Grand Master's Palace is on St George's Square in Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta74The Grand Master's Palace was home to the Grand Masters of the Knights of St John but is now the President's residence - Valletta

 

 

malta75More Notte Bianca performances - Valletta

 

 

malta77The Notte Bianca crowds.
Valletta is nowhere near as lively and packed as this normally! It's pretty quiet, with the life usually further afield at Sliema and Paceville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta79The Grand Harbour and Three Cities lie beyond Valletta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta78Check out St Publius Church in Floriana from St John's Bastion in Valletta

 

 

malta81Fort Rinella lies just beyond the Three Cities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta83Next to Fort Rinella are the Mediterranean Film Studios, famous for the two biggest filming water tanks in Europe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta91Vittoriosa, one of the Three Cities, lies across the Grand Harbour from Valletta

 

 

malta84Church of St Lawrence - Vittoriosa

 

 

malta87Dockyard Creek forms Vittoriosa's waterfront, with Senglea on the right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta88Fort St Angelo was reinforced by the Knights in the 16th century.
Valletta lies in the background - Vittoriosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta90One of the smaller boats at Dockyard Creek - Vittoriosa

 

 

malta93The quiet backstreets of Vittoriosa

 

 

malta94aAcross the water from Vittoriosa is Senglea, also one of the Three Cities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta95Senglea and a few cheap (?) boats as seen from Vittoriosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta97Wander across to Senglea and get a view of Vittoriosa

 

 

malta96Waiting for supper at Senglea waterfront

 

 

malta98aDockyard Creek and the Vittoriosa waterfront, from Senglea. At the front is a traditional boat called a dghajsa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta98A view of Valletta and Dockyard Creek from Senglea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta98dA close up of Valletta - including Upper Barrakka Gardens - from Senglea's watchtower

 

 

malta98eLower Barrakka Gardens and the Siege Bell Memorial at Valletta

 

 

malta130If you're passing through Mosta take time out to see the 19th century Parish Church of Santa Maria, aka the Mosta Dome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malta131I noticed lots of plantpots in the narrow streets of Malta - Mosta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website and content Copyright © 2008-2010 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.

 

LINKS

www.visitmalta.com

www.nottebiancamalta.com - Notte Bianca

www.gozochannel.com - Gozo ferry

www.gozo.gov.mt - Gozo

www.maltabulb.com

www.whatson.com.mt

www.maltairport.com

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

 
 
 
   
 
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