Tips before you go to travelers who visit Malta island
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The archipelago of Malta it's 200 km of coasts, surrounded of a crystalline water, which one says " the purest of the Mediterranean", the yellow stone of its buildings, which takes a gold color but, as soon as the sun appears, it gives the softness of honey ! Its privileged climate, allows stays all along the year.
It's composed of 3 islands : Malta, Comino and Gozo. Malta is blazing by its monuments and its architecture, Comino considered for its scintillating and transparent water is a natural swimming pool, a lagoon of a major blue very appreciated by the divers. Gozo is a preserved place, with the green hills, the multiple splits, the fine and red sand beaches, with abrupt cliffs and water so clear that it also proves to be it, a paradise for the divers.
7000 years of civilization made this archipelago,
a place which does not leave anybody indifferent. Of its enigmatic monuments
of the Neolithic sites, to the heritage architectural left by the Knights
about Malta, this archipelago which balances between the East and the
Occident, invites to the discovery, and it's for that, that it's called
"The Treasure Island".
Single monuments in the world, with the sites of Hal Saflieni, Tarxien, Mnajdra, Hagar Quim or Ggantja of the time of the Neolithic era, which leave still today perplexed and of which thousands of tons of filled up stones of mysticism, push our curiosity. Fascinated, we go to the archaeological museum to admire extraordinary parts, with the famous Venus of Malta or the attractive Déesse of the fertility. The Tarxien spirals leave admiring, and we cannot not think of this civilization, disappeared in circumstances which one is unaware of still today, but who, it there has 4000 years before J.C., had shown genius and was capable of a refinement which leaves us without voice. top of the page
It sees the phenicians, the Carthaginians and the Romans to leave their prints, that the antiquities's museum of Rabat, shows if you are a curious visitors. One should not miss the splendid mosaics which testify to the opulence of Malta during the Roman occupation. But this time is also the Christian era on Malta. Indeed, it is towards 60 after J.C., that the boat which carries out the apostle St Paul in Rome as a prisoner, fails. This stay, dates christianization from the Maltese archipelago. Many well preserved and decorated catacombs point out the first times of a religion which was going to become official in IV century. top of the page
It's very present here and in all its splendour with the old capital of the island, Mdina. The Normans influences and Spanish mix in the narrow lanes with this city which seems deadened. Protected by its ramparts, Mdina wakes up in the passing of the tourists, time to reveal its palates, its churches or its cathedral St Pierre and St Paul of XI century. The escape in the past is total, the charm intact. It's also interesting to make a small visit by night, Mdina, then got dressed with light, omnipresent silence wraps you and guides you towards another vision of the old capital, romantic and mysterious at the same time, Mdina plays the enchantress, the magic of the place operates. Mdina "the city of the silence", is a beautiful representation of medieval architecture, the spectacle of day or night, is assured. Moreover, one finds excellent restaurants there!! top of the page
In 1048, monks create a "hospital' ' for the pilgrims, in Jerusalem. We are in full crusade and from many lords will be attracted by this order whose ideal is devotion, not excluding the recourse to the weapons. These monks soldiers will remain out of Holy Land until at the end of the crusades. It's in Cyprus that they will settle after the fall of Jerusalem, then in Rhodos until the Othomans take the island at the end of a long fight. In front of the bravery of these knights, Charles Quint their offer in 1530 the Maltese archipelago. Two centuries begin then, under the order of these "Chevaliers of Saint Jean" who will make Maltais archipelago a true jewel.
In first they will settle on the 3 cities Vittoriosa, Senglea, Cospicua. They are a fabulous builders and testimonys of these buildings are present everywhere. But the Othomans of Soliman continue their progression and in 1565 it is the large seat, they are with the doors of the 3 cities. The Maltese archipelago will tremble under the threat, but the knights, however fewer, will succeed by their strategy and their military engineering, to push back the enemy definitively. But the 3 cities showed their vulnerability, and the knights will decide to build a new capital, which they will want impregnable, just opposite. Valetta was born. Elegant, sovereign, it is the Great Master of the moment, the victorious French of the large seat, Jean Parisot of Valette, which leaves him its name. top of the page
Today, to walk in the capital, it's to discover the city of XVI century with the Co-cathedral Saint Jean with the 8 vaults, corresponding to the 8 languages which brought together the knights. The latter could be surrounded of large artists, thus the covered Co-cathedral of gold and of frescos is surprising. Its ground is consisted of the tomb stones of the Great Masters (attention the heels are prohibited in order to preserve this superb ground), the statues of style Baroque, paintings, show the ostentation and the richness of the order. You will be able to also see the various inns, left embassy of the time, like the inn of Provence, Aragon or Castille. To discover the famous hospital of the knights, it will be necessary to return to you towards the fort, on the port Saint Elme.
The gardens of Barraca is an obliged passage, overhanging the large port, they offer an admirable sight on the 3 cities. Continuously our dawdling, all beside the Palate of the Great Masters, it will be possible to visit the interesting arms museum which shows a multitude of parts all the more beautiful and interesting ones that the others. Most beautiful parts being without any doubt, armours of parade, admirably worked. You will be able to also discover a residence La Casa Rocca Piccola, always inhabited by a Knight of Jean Saint.
Museum of La Casa Rocca Piccola is a residence of XVI century, inhabited since the beginning by the same Piro family. This noble residence is today the residence of the 9th Marquis de Piro, who will have had the kindness to open the doors of this house to us and to be used to us as guide. This Knight of the Order thus will tell us the history of a family and that of an always popular order today. Thus, after having climbed the monumental staircase, it is a jump in the past which this residence allows us, which is not a museum, but true a Maltese house. Coin after coin, 400 years of the history of a family is told to you and reveals you its memories, today true treasures. Each visited part reveal us a side of the history of Malta. The dining room is a splendid part, the library is full with knowing and of heat, the room to be slept has a splendid furniture and the whole of visit with pleasure and a great interest, it's impossible to set out again of Malta without to have visited it, you would miss something of essence in the Maltese history. This residence forms part of the inheritance of the archipelago, it forms integral part of a history quite simply. To discover more in detail La Casa Rocca Piccola , used the link below : www.casaroccapiccola.com
The 3 Cities. Today the tourists tend to neglect this place and yet the 3 cities prove to be a place extremely pleasant to visit. These 3 fortresses, Vittoriosa, Senglea, Cospicua had to face the large seat but also of terrible German bombardments during the second world war. If the cities were heavily touched, it does not remain about it less than they have much charm still today. Medieval streets strewn with flowers, always visible military fortifications, the peace which reigns there, as many assets which make, that one should not especially miss going there.
The "small sister" of Malta does not have anything to envy to him. In the past called Rabat, Victoria is the capital of the island of Gozo. With its citadel, its cathedral of the XVII and XVIII century, its ramparts, its museums and its villages surrounding, Gozo is an island full with charm. It's called the green island, so much its vegetation is luxuriant. The bay of Dwejra with its azure's window, its ground strewn with fossils, its inland sea are splendid. The salt are not to be missed. But the myth has also its place with in particular the Calypso nymph which allured Ulysses, the cave where the beautiful one lived, does not visit itself, but the site remains to be seen. And then obviously there is the temple megalithic of Ggantija. It most imposing and is best preserved Europe for this time. Boats easily carries out you to Gozo, you have of them all 45mn and the crossing lasts 20mn. top of the page
From 1800, the archipelago passes under English protectorate and becomes a British colony what will be worth in Malta a paramount role during the second world war. If Malta will never be invaded, it will be very bombarded. In 1947 the autonomy of the archipelago is declared and in 1974 the Maltaise republic was born. Today of the English period, there remains control on the left and although the Maltese is the language official, English is spoken in all the archipelago.
Today Malta forms part of the European Community, even if the euro makes its appearance only in 2008. top of the page
It should be recognized that one eats rather well on the archipelago, very influenced by Italy, the kitchen has here resonances frankly Mediterranean, very good wines and a cordial population always ready to have fun the festival, and these last are numerous :
The carnival, between the 3 and on February 8, are one of oldest of Europe.
The Festival of fireworks, between the 6 and on May 7, the largest manufacturers of fireworks present a festival in the Port of Valetta.
The Festival mediterranea on the island of Gozo, between October 28 and November 7, it recalls the 7000 years of history of the island of Gozo in 10 days. top of the page
In order to be able to move you easily and quietly, here the solutions which are offered to you :
Bus : it is the most economic transport. The line of bus number 8 carries out directly to the airport.Lines 32, 34 and 35 serve the stops of buses located near the airport. The buses leave or go in direction of Valetta but stop at several stations during the voyage. There are buses all the 20 mn and they circulate of 5h30 of the morning up to 11 p.m. the evening.
To the bus : www.publictransport.com.mt
To the shuttle aiport : gettinghere.maltairport.com
For the crossings in ferry, you will find all the schedules on : www.gozochannel.com
Car : It's possible to rent a car starting from the airport. We recommend to you however to pay attention, indeed, the Malteses circulate on the way of left as in the United Kingdom, and the wheel is located right side of the car. top of the page
Attention, you will need adapters (Anglo-Saxon system).
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