The Great Siege of Malta
The pilgrimage from Jaffa to Jerusalem in the Holy Land proved arduous. Dust arose in clouds causing us constantly to slake our throats. Danger from Bedouins and Saracens lurked around every corner and even among the rocks. With blood-curdling screams they attacked. The Knights of St John - good God-Fearing gentlemen- rode to our rescue and spared us having our throats slit!
The Great Siege of Malta & The Knights of St. John within the Bibliotheca in Republic Street enables us to experience this scene. Combining life-size figures, scenery, prints, videos and audio gave us a feel of the hardships and dangers back then. This visitor spectacular takes around 45 minutes to walk through. To help us make our time journey from the 12-century we have an audio guide, which moves on automatically on entering each new date with destiny.
The Knights forced out of Jerusalem seek a new home. We journey with them to Acre, on to Cyprus and Rhodes. Here they suffer defeat by the Turks and we travel onwards to Malta where they hope to settle permanently.
In the Great Siege of Malta we travel in the hold of a galleon of the Turkish armada sailing towards Malta. There on 18th May 1565, the Ottoman Turks pitted 48,000 of their best troops against the islands. They intend invading them before thrusting into Southern Europe through Sicily and Italy. Against them ranged 8,000 men: 540 Knights; 4,000 Maltese and the rest made up of Spanish and Italian mercenaries. We meet Grand Master La Valette commanding the knights as well as Suleiman, the most important Turkish commander, in his imperial tent.
Landing unopposed, the Turks to secure a safe anchorage for their invasion fleet launched an attack on Fort St.Elmo. After heroic resistance for 31 days the fort fighting to the last man succumbed to the massive bombardment and continuous attacks - Suleiman perished also. The Ottomans then turned their attack on the two badly fortified harbour towns. Behind the crumbling walls, the Christian forces, against all odds, kept the enemy at bay until a relief force of 8,000 troops arrived from Sicily. The Turks through losses from disease, fire and steel with supplies running low couldn’t offer effective resistance. Defeated they retreated.
At the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 where the Christian fleet inflicted another defeat on the Turks. We have the unique experience of walking on the sea and watching the battle. Fearing other attacks the Knights build Valletta then Europe's newest fortified city. We walk along its streets and eventually leave Malta with the Knights under the searching gaze of Napoleon Bonaparte.
The building housing this spectacular with its unique vaulted arches, projects the beauty of Maltese palazzos. The La Valette Vaults, now turned into a gift shop, reflects the Knights' era in Malta. This is an excellent presentation up there with the best I have ever seen.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Located on the lower part of Upper Baracca Gardens, offers a breath taking view of the Grand Harbour
The guns sit a top an elevated part of Valletta’s harbour facing to the other side of Fort St Elmo
A noon day gun is still operated daily at this site
Lower Baracca Garden
As in any botanical garden both native and exotic plants are on display here.The gardens are laid out on the bastion of St. Christopher. They provide a respite from the busy city and offer stunning views of the harbors
Is also one of the favorite spot in Valletta to those wants to have photos from the harbour. And during sunset is absolutely a place to be, we were lucky we made it to sunset here and it's beautiful, the reflecting, shimmering water is awesome, we're unlucky not having a picture of the sunset our baterry went off
Upper Barracca Gardens
On top of the bastion of St. Peter and St. Paul, or Porta d'Italia Valletta are the Barracca Gardens. From the 60 meter high garden you have a beautiful view over the Grand Harbour
One part of the garden is on the side of the Grand Harbour, and is a popular spot for tourists. The plateau where you can stand on the precipice is shielded by a metal fence
On one of the balcony above you have an unparalleled view over Valletta city, over the three cities on the other side and the Grand Harbour with the associated shipyards
At sunset, the view is even more alluring. Thousands of lights illuminate the side of the bay, making a beautiful orange glow. It goes without saying that the romantic view attracts many amorous couples
Fort St Angelo
To have a good view from the Fort is to go up to Baracca Garden, from here you can have a beautiful picture to the Fort
Standing from the other side you'll see all the big ferries and Yacht
If you have a good camera with a good lens you'll have a perfect photo, which I do not have those professional camera
Beside there is more to see around the Bacarra Garden, is nice to walk around, and I think also a place for family gathering I've seen families with small children as it was weekend during our visit
St John's Co-Cathedral
This 16th-century the Cathedral in Valletta which is referred to in English as St. John's Co-Cathedral is one of the main tourist attractions of Valleta. The cathedral shows a contrast between the exterior and the interior. As subdued as the outside, so overwhelming is the inside of the building
This cathedral is worth to visit and is located in the capital city Valleta
The cathedral is open weekdays between 9:30 am and 16:30 pm during the summer and on Saturday morning . Since the cathedral is still used for its original purpose. When visiting on Sunday respectable attire is required
The admission price for the tour of the cathedral is € 6
St. Paul's Catacombs Rabat
A fascinating look into a labyrinth of underground tombs from the 3rd century! Can be easily combined with a visit to the rest of Rabat and to the nearby favourite medieval city of Mdina
The city is medieval and is a kind of open-air museum with all kinds of tight streets and alleys that beautiful old buildings and monuments, when the city runs through the Mdina gate, you arrive at the Public Square with the right hand the Vilhena Palace which is a guest house was Grand Master Fra Antonio Manoel de Vilhena . Now property of the Natural History Museum
St. Paul's Cathedral is also worth a visit, this cathedral is at the central of St Pauls Square, here was the foundation for the Catholic faith on the island
Entrance fee; St. Paul's Catacombs Adults 5 euro
Opening hours: Monday - Friday 09:00-17:00 Saturday-Sunday Closed
The International Airport. Luqa airport is quite compact, yet modern
The vast majority of aircraft flying to Malta. The airport has two runways, one of which is used for 80% of take-offs and landings
The departure procedure from the airport is also quite simple. Check-in two hours before departure. It is recommended no later than 90 minutes before departure to be present. Upon check-in you will receive your boarding card with the gate number. After check-in you can go through customs, and then you get to the departure lounge. In this large waiting area you will find a number of shops
Mdina was the capital of the Maltese Islands until 1568 when the Order of St. John built Valletta; the present capital city.
This little walled Medieval town was built on top of a hill. It is located 15 km. south-west of Valletta.
Mdina has a beautiful cathedral; built between 1697 and 1702 on the site of two previous churches; two or three museums, a maze of narrow cobbled streets; some cafes and restaurants.
One of the newest attraction in Mdina is the Carmelite priory. Here you can visit a very ornate church, a refectory, a nice cloister, the kitchen and a monk's cell.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
It was an adaptation of an adventure of Elzie Segar devised cartoon character who first appeared on television in 1929. The village now bears the original name Popeye Village. In the film , however, realized in 1980, the village was called Sweet Haven, the Village was built in Anchor Bay at the end of 1979
Visiting the village it requires admission fee of 10.50 euro
You can find Popeye Village about a mile west of town. It is not accessible by bus, with a rental car , it is fine to do . The park is somewhat refurbished in recent years and there is a fun park for kids decorated. In the bay you can swim if you 're in the area you might just drive through the village Especially if you're interested in the film world is nice to see and discover it yourself it's also nice to get into the village just walk aroundRelated to:
- Family Travel
- Theme Park Trips
Since earlier times, Wied iz-Zurrieq together with Ghar Lapsi, has provided the best fishing harbour on Malta’s South West coast, a place of immense hardship but the nearest fishing port to the Qrendi and Zurrieq inhabitants, a role played till the mid sixty’s when the former Maltese fishing boats, the Luzzu and Kajjik were replaced by the “Wied iz-Zurrieq Fregatina”, a sturdy four meter wooden boat capable of transporting ten passengers opting to visit the Blue Grotto
But the place is not just known as the Ferry landing for the Blue Grotto visitors and the Location of the wreck of the Un el-Farroud so frequented by visiting divers but also for its depth of water that varies from six meters at the valley’s inlet to twenty three meters at its mouth, water in access visibility of twenty to thirty meter is most common in this diver’s paradise, a location of immense beauty both above and below the water
The Blue Grotto
Located in the south of Malta , near the village of Wied iz- Zurrieq , which lies just south of Zurrieq , the Blue Grotto, is a natural rock formation, by currents and waves in the sea , there is a part of the sandstone dissolved in seawater or worn away from the cliffs , making seven caves originated
In the bottom of the Grotto a white sand color, which is the sunlight is reflected to it
The light is refracted in different colors, however, water absorbs most of those colors (red and yellow) this creates a blue glow, this gives an enchanting effect in the natural caves that are quite dark, the deepest point of the Blue Grotto is 26 meters
The caves are accessible by small old fishing boats, at the harbor of Wied iz- Zurrieq, you can do Blue Grotto excursion tickets ( €8 , - for adults , children € 4 )
The capital of the Republic of Malta, apart from the political sphere, it is also the capital in the financial and cultural fields, the forts and bastions which the city is built and the buildings in the city are important attractions and are worth seeing
The sights of the capital city are almost all or near the Republic Street ( formerly known as Kingsway ) , which runs from north to south through the center of the city , the side streets of Republic Street are especially westward steeply downwards, they are often so steep that no cars can drive and steps to be taken, in the streets you will find reminders of the past everywhere, yet every street has its own identity
The star attraction of the city is St. John 's Co - Cathedral, this is one of the eleven churches in Valletta you really should not skip this church
As In the archaeological museum of the city you will find a lot especially pottery from excavations The top piece from the collection is 'the sleeping lady' this pottery sculpture was excavated in the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum in Paola
Also, the Manoel Theatre is worth a visit, at the northern tip of Republic street you'll find the Fort St. Elmo . It is now the army museum. On the walls of Valletta are the gardens , called Barracca Gardens , Lower Barracca Gardens and Hastings Gardens , from where you have a magnificent view over the port of Valletta . A walk through the city and the gardens is definitely worth it
It is located in the east of Malta Marsaxlokk a top destination for tourism, the only thing missing are beautiful beaches in the village itself, possible that this has ensured that this fishing village is not affected by project, although I would be surprised if this even changes in the future
The current character should be preserved, basically consists of an elongated fishing village full of typical fishing boats, it may be inevitable that both photographers and painters are heavily inspired by this sight, the way the mainly small fishing boats scattered through the water makes it a whole fur where even the greatest pessimist is yet stimulated
It's the most beautiful harbor in the morning, about an hour to two hours after sunrise, at that moment, a soft light is fanned out on the boats, so the colors are highlighted at their best
Along almost the entire harbor, there is a fairly wide pedestrian promenade where you can walk and take photos
The area is famous for their fish menu, you will see often outside the restaurant featured here is of course the 'catch of the day', where you get the fish that day brought presented by the fishermen on your plate, a better meal you can eat in Marsaxlokk
Centrally located on the promenade, near the height of the square and the church are several stalls that form a tourist market, here you can buy lace, glass and other souvenirs of Malta
The offer here is a combination of beautiful stuff mixed with junk that you can buy if you're on vacation elsewhere in Europe, on Sunday this market is worth to visit. Then it's a real market which is also mainly vegetables, fruits and fresh fish for sale
Three things that must be mentioned is that you smell the fish anywhere if you are here on a Sunday market. We were here in November so the temperature is not so high as in the summer, the smells of the fish is bearable and also less flies in the winter that in summerRelated to:
- Family Travel
Qawra and the LOST planets
Original tip below - HOWEVER.... during our visit in June 2013, there was a lot of construction work going-on at Qwara for the new Sea Life/Aquarium complex. The promenade was blocked-off and the wall/fence had been removed. Also, it appears that Pluto has been demoted from a planet (it WAS located above Bugibba Harbour). So, the only two planets I could find this time were Saturn and Neptune.
Take a stroll along the promenade from one end to the next - from the headland at the end of Triq-it-Trunciera to the end above Bugibba Harbour.
At intervals along the way, you will see a small sculpture of the planets of our solar system.
Starting with Mercury, you will eventually reach distant Pluto.
What is more interesting is that the distance between each one, is scaled to that between the actual planets themselves. So, Venus, Earth Mars are relatively close-together. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are quite spread-out.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Family Travel
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Xlendi Promenade, Xlendi, Island of Gozo, Malta
Good for: Families
I did not stay in this hotel, but I passed by it, when walking through the old town of Mdina. b.t.w....more
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