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Author: Melisande Aquilina

The Tarxien Temples

Although cremation in Malta is still illegal at present, Malta’s oldest crematorium came into existence long before the Maltese Planning Authority itself. This was way back in 2,500 BC, when the Tarxien Temples, situated in the South Eastern region of Malta, were converted from a megalithic temple into a crematorium cemetery, in the early Bronze Age. The Tarxien Temple archaeological complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the oldest temples in the Maltese Islands, dating back approximately to 3600BC. Following the discovery of the Tarxien Hypogeum in 1913 situated only 400 metres away, it was...

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Maltese Herbs: Sage

Wild sage (Salvia Selvaġġa in Maltese) is an indigenous plant, originating in the Maltese islands before man. It is to be found frequently in garigues rich in soil, rocky places, roadsides and valley-sides. It flowers between October and June and may reach a height of 60 centimetres and a spread of 45 centimetres. Sage has a very pleasant scent and is easily recognisable from its light grey-green, velvety leaves. Sage is a perennial evergreen subshrub of the mint family. Its flowers are white, blue or purple and it has a long history of medicinal and culinary use in the...

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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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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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