Being a country where tourism forms a major part of the economy, Malta has a number of popular attractions for visitors, with something for everyone: history buffs; children; teenagers and those just in search of rest and relaxation.
Having been at the crossroads of the Mediterranean since time immemorial, Malta has a wealth of history spanning thousands of years, and these historic monuments and buildings attract visitors to the islands from all over the world.
On Malta and Gozo, there are a number of temple sites, dating from centuries BC. Ggantija Temples in Gozo are reportedly the oldest man-made structures in the world. Found just outside the village of Xaghra, they were built during the Neolithic Period, (Approximately 3600, 2500 BC). These Temples preceded the Pyramids in Egypt (the first built around 2750 BC) and Britain’s Stonehenge (Built between 3100 and 1500 BC.). At Qrendi in Malta, there are two other major temples – Hagar Qim and Mnajdra, both are atmospheric sites overlooking the remote island of Filfla, and at Tarxien there is the most complex temple structure on the islands.
Another major ancient attraction are the catacombs found at Rabat. St Paul’s Catacombs are a complex of underground cemeteries that were in active use up to the 4th century AD. They are located on the outskirts of the old Maltese capital, Mdina, as the laws at the time prevented burial inside the city walls. There is a good audio presentation on site, and they are open 7 days a week.
For more information about the temples, catacombs and other historic attractions, contact:
Old University Buildings,
Valletta VLT 1175
Tel: (+356) 22954000
Fax (+356) 21222900
Coming forward in time, The Knights of Malta built several outstanding forts, watchtowers and other historial buildings. In fact they built the city of Valletta, which is in itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a tourist attraction in its own right. In Valletta, you will find The Sacra Infermaria, which was the Knight’s Hospital (now the Mediterranean Conference Centre), St John’s Co-Cathedral and other attractions such as The Great Seige of Malta Experience.
For more information about Knights-era attractions contact:
Din l-Art Helwa
133 Melita Street
Valletta VLT 1123
Tel: (+356) 21225952
Fax: (+356) 21225952