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Top 5 historic sites to visit in Valletta

Valletta - Malta's Capital City

The island of Malta has a rich history spanning thousands of years. The Knights of St John occupied Malta for 250 years leaving behind a strong influence on Malta and its people. The city of Valletta was one of the greatest treasures created by the Knights. The city was built following the Great Siege in 1565 when Grand Master La Valletta felt the need for a stronger fortified city for the island of Malta. The building was complete by 1571 when Valletta was named as Malta’s Capital City.

There is plenty to see and do in this vibrant city. We have compiled a list of our favourite historic sites that are a must see when visiting Valletta:

Saint John’s Co-Cathedral

This church was built in 1577 by the Order of the Knights of St John and is dedicated to St John the Baptist. In fact, this church houses the famous painting of the beheading of St John by artist Caravaggio. The baroque interior of the church reflects the wealth and importance of the Knights of Malta, who protected Europe and the Catholic faith from attacks by the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century.

Grand Master’s Palace & The State Rooms

Situated in Palace Square, which is often used for traditional ceremonies, the Grand Master’s Palace was one of the first buildings to be built in Valletta. It was used as the residence for the Knights of Malta in the 16th century. Here one may find a collection of historic tapestries, artefacts, and armour.

National Museum of Archaeology

Housed in the former Auberge de Provence renowned as one of the most elaborately decorated Baroque buildings in Valletta. The archaeology collection found at the museum provides visitors with an introduction to the prehistory and early history of the Maltese Islands.

Grand Harbour

Valletta’s Grand Harbour is one of the finest harbours in the Mediterranean. The entire harbour is surrounded by massive fortifications, bastions, and defensive towers. Today, it allows entry of large commercial ships, ocean liners, and cruise ships. One can enjoy a bird’s eye view of this magnificent harbour from the Upper Barrakka Gardens.

Upper Barrakka Gardens & Saluting Battery

The gardens are built on Valletta’s highest point from which you may enjoy the breath-taking views of the Grand Harbour and the Three Cities. The gardens were built in 1661 by the Knights of St John as their private gardens and exercise grounds. The peaceful and shady gardens are beautifully laid out with fountains, flower beds, rows of archways and statues. The Saluting Battery may be found at the Upper Barrakka Gardens where you can enjoy a guided tour. Also, gun salutes are fired daily at noon and 4pm.

The Phoenicia Malta is located on the doorstep to the capital city of Valletta. This makes it ideal for visiting these historic sites as they are all within walking distance from the hotel.

We hope these tips will help you to enjoy some of the history of Malta and Valletta. We look forward to welcoming you at The Phoenicia Malta on your holiday to Malta.

Grand Harbour Valletta, Malta

Grand Harbour

St Johns Co Catherdral, Valletta, Malta

Saint John’s Co-Cathedral

Upper Barakka Gardens, Valletta, Malta

Upper Barrakka Gardens & Saluting Battery



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