Three of Malta’s Most Impressive Landmarks
When it comes to experiencing the western Mediterranean, Spain, Italy, France and all of their surrounding islands are often the first destinations to spring to mind. One destination that is often overlooked, however, sits just below the Italian island of Sicily.
The archipelago of Malta is renowned for its golden beaches, culture and superb historical sites – some of which played a role in Valletta gaining UNESCO World Heritage Status. Selected Pullmantur Cruises itineraries can take you to the fascinating city of Valletta and, this week, we take a closer look at what you expect to see and experience during your visit.
UNESCO World Heritage Status
Upon arriving into Valletta, you will be amazed by how stunning this ancient city is. Situated between two natural harbours, the origins of Valletta go back to the mid-16th century, after the Knights of St John conceived a city that would resemble the late renaissance period. 320 monuments have been crammed into the 55 hectares that make up this city, yet they all seem to fit together harmoniously. It is one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.
There are many buildings that are worthy of a visit whilst docked in Malta, but there are a few which you should definitely single out. St John’s Co Cathedral, which may not look like much from the outside, is definitely one of them. After walking inside this stunning landmark, you will be dazzled by the sheer ornate beauty. The barrel-shaped ceiling holds a fresco, which depicts the lifework of famed artist, Mattia Preti. After looking up at the ceiling, a glance at the floor will reveal a range multiple colours of marble, all of which have been intricately laid together.
Another of Valletta’s most impressive landmarks includes the Palace of the Grand Masters, which is now the President’s office and the house of the Maltese parliament. This historic building also houses a Knight’s armoury and many medieval artefacts.
The Fort of St Elmo is perhaps the most historically significant landmark in the city, having been the stronghold during the Ottoman invasion of 1565. Here, Maltese knights battled to the death in order to buy valuable time in which to construct two further fortresses and gain reinforcements from further afield. After the Turks took the fort, the Spanish arrived and drove them away.
Malta is a small, but beautiful Mediterranean island nation, positioned just beneath the Italian island of Sicily. As well as Malta, Pullmantur Cruises operate a range of western Mediterranean itineraries that can take you to stunning Italian cities, cultural landmarks in Spain and the French region of Provence.
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