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Author: Melisande Aquilina

The Inquisitor’s Palace in Birgu

The Inquisitor’s Palace is located in Citta’ Vittoriosa or Birgu, one of Malta’s medieval fortified cities, to be found on the South side of the Grand Harbour in the South Eastern region of Malta. Birgu is a very old locality and has a long history associated with maritime, mercantile, and military activities. In fact, it served as a base for the Order of the Knights of Saint John, prior to the building of the capital city of Valletta, that is, from 1530 to 1571. The Inquisitor’s Palace itself is to be found in the heart of Vittoriosa. Also known...

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Where to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in Malta

Malta is known for its nightlife, not to mention the love of the Maltese for celebration and partying. Be it summer festas, weekend parties, or open-air concerts, any excuse is a worthwhile justification for making merry. The Irish feast of Saint Patrick’s, which is a cultural and religious celebration held yearly on the 17th of March, is no exception. Unlike the Irish, for whom Saint Patrick is the patron saint, the Maltese have no particular claims on this festivity as such, yet, this is not a deterrent to those of us who waste no time in donning Irish green,...

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Discovering Ħasan Cave in Birżebbuġa

The cave of ‘Ħasan’ or ‘Għar Ħasan’, which, legend says, was once the hide-out of a 12th century Saracen rebel, lies within the cliff-bound coastline south of Birżebbuġa, 2 kilometres south-west of Kalafrana. Ħasan’s Cave is approximately 387 metres in length and is to be found 70 metres above sea-level. The views from the cave itself are amazingly beautiful. Situated on a narrow precipice and commanding spectacular views of sheer rock-faces and brilliant blue sea, the experience is definitely worth the effort. To enter the cave, one can leave his/her car in the nearby parking lot, and then make...

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Maltese Herbs: Rosemary

Would Maltese food taste as good, if we didn’t add herbs to it? Many Maltese recipes would lose their special taste if we left out certain key herbs and spices. Rosemary (klin in Maltese), a herb which is native to our shores, is one of these. Being indigenous and pertaining to the mint family, this herb tends to grow on rocky outcrops and valley sides. Its habitat and also growth is similar to that of wild thyme, and these plants are often found growing side by side on our cliffs. It does not need a lot of water and...

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Maltese Currency and Banks

Although the islands of Malta sit right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, there are still tourists and foreigners who seem to be confused as to which currency is used locally. Malta’s own currency, which is today obsolete, used to be the Maltese Lira, or Lm for short. As of the 31st of December 2008, the Maltese Lira was completely replaced by the Euro, at the fixed exchange rate of €1 per 0.4293 lira. As of today, there exist eight kinds of local valid coin types, and since each Euro country has its own different design for its...

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