Malta – an island nation in the Mediterranean Sea. Located to the south of Sicily. Capital – Valletta; largest city – Birkirkara. The total population in the country, according to the latest estimates, is 452,500 people. Official languages - Maltese and English, but most speak French and Italian.
Until September 21, 1964, the island was a British colony. Upon receipt of Malta’s independence was eventually assigned the status of a republic. Today, it is a parliamentary republic, headed by a president. The country’s name to the ancient Phoenician means “harbor”, “asylum”.
The climate is Mediterranean: mild winters and dry, but hot summers. Even in the coldest month (January) is not lower than the temperature of 7-12 ° C. Apart from Malta in the archipelago, there are several islands, but only inhabited Gozo. Islands Natural lakes and rivers there, and the highest mountain – Ta ‘Dmejrek (253 m). The coastline of Malta is replete line coves, cliffs and coves.
About 98% of Catholics. The national currency – the euro.
The ancient city of Mdina
The ancient city of Mdina – Malta’s historical capital, where about 4 thousand years.. Today it little more than 300 inhabitants. Locals call it “the silent city”. The name “Mdina” probably appeared as a reduction from the Arab “medina” (in the lane. “City”).
Geographically, it is a small village located on a hill. It was erected by the Phoenicians still a fortification. Tourists come here to stroll through the quiet, narrow streets, look at the old houses and local architectural landmarks.
The architectural dominant of the city is St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was built exactly where the bishop Publius met St. Paul. According to legend, in 60 BC the apostle was in Mdina after strong shipwreck near the coast of Malta. The Cathedral museum houses works brush A. Durer.
They deserve attention and the main gate of Mdina. They were built in the XVIII century to replace the wooden structure. The gates are decorated with coats of arms of the two aristocrats. Generally, in the city there is the atmosphere of bygone grandeur and luxury. Here are preserved palaces of the Archbishop, the Church of the Carmelites, an art gallery, Norman house and other valuable buildings.
Against the background of Mdina even movies were filmed, so picturesque and mysterious look of its streets. Especially colorful the city looks at night, illuminated by artificial lights. A distinctive feature of the city: there are no shops or restaurants. It is solely a city-museum.
Get to Mdina is not difficult. From the central bus station in Valletta side attractions are regularly sent to transport. The distance of 14 km.
Grand Master’s Palace
Malta attractions. Grand Master’s Palace – the largest building in Valletta; One of the main attractions of Malta. Since 1976, the year is the seat of government, although built in the XVI century for the Grand Master of the Order of Malta. In total, the palace served as a residence for 21 of the Grand Master.
At various times over the construction and decoration of the palace worked as the Maltese and Italians and the British. For example, it was built in the second half of the XVI century in Malta, and then the Italian architect. Initially, the palace building was wooden, but in 1570-ies. it was replaced by a stone analogue. The palace on the funds allocated by the European powers after the successful release of Malta from the Turkish conquerors.
The ceilings of the palace for a long time were wooden, which was a rarity. Painting interior walls belongs to the Sienese N. Naso. At the end of the XVIII century, the palace was destroyed by French raiders and remained in poor condition before the arrival of the British. Recently restored it and used as a residence of the governor.
Today, the palace is located the Office of the Government of Malta and the Armoury Museum, in which more than 6000 valuable objects. Ceremonial Hall decorated with portraits of the rulers of Malta, and scenes from the history of the Order. Fine interiors and luxurious design of this palace turned into one of the most beautiful buildings on the island. The special flavor to it give balconies and patios, decorated fountain.
Entrance to the museum for an extra charge, but for children under 6 years free. From the main bus station (Main Bus Terminus) to the side of the palace are regularly sent to transport.
Azure Window – natural arch in the Mediterranean Sea next to Gozo, the second largest island of Malta. Lines around the “Azure Window” impressive, making her eager to visit many. By the way, go back to the rock is prohibited, as there is the risk of collapse.
This is perhaps the most photographed waterfront property on Malta, as all tourists try to see this beauty, “put it in the palm.” Although this hulk is not so easy. In size it is almost 100-meter-high limestone cliff, supported by two stone pillars on each side, each of which reaches 40 meters.
In 2012, she broke off from an impressive piece, after which the authorities in the strict form of did not recommend runs along the top of the cliff and swim under it, but many tourists probably do not know it. By virtue of the scenic panorama, “Azure Window” figured in many films. Aside attractions buses from Victoria (a. Capital of Gozo).