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Valletta (City Guide)

Online since: 09. April 2013

Valletta in Malta

Malta’s capital, Valletta, was the first European city to be completely planned in advance and it was built in only ten years! The city, which lies on the northeast coast, is surrounded by the sea on three sides and was designed to be a fortification. The layout of the city is a grid, meaning there are no curves inside the city walls. The Grand Master La Vallette, after whom the city was named, had the city built by the fortification architect Francesco Laparelli and his assistant Laparellies Gerolamo Cassar, after the Great Siege of 1565 by the Turks. Valletta is said to  be the most strongly-fortified city in the world and all its facilities are still in an impeccable condition, making the city a unique outdoor museum.

In front of the city gate is a large roundabout that serves as the main bus station of Malta. On both sides, the city is surrounded by the two largest natural harbours of the Mediterranean Sea, namely the Grand Harbour and the Marsamxett Harbour. Along the bustling main street – Republic Street – you will find many shops and during the day the street is always busy. But once all the shops have closed, the city centre looks more like a ghost town.

The well-preserved fortification facilities were used in Hollywood movies such as Troy and Gladiator.

Attractions in VallettaAttractions in Valletta

While on a harbour cruise, you can admire the beauty of the capital and the surrounding towns from the sea.
Tours, Excursions and Cruises around and in Valletta >>

Grand Masters PalaceGrand Masters Palace

The Grand Master’s Palace was built in 1571 and is one of the most magnificent buildings in the country. Until 1798, it served as office of the Grand Master and later, during the occupation by the British, as office of the governor. Since 1976, the Maltese parliament holds its assemblies there and it is the official seat of the president.

Two places well worth visiting are the palace and the armoury. The latter is an extensive museum with weapons and armour from the Middle Ages, while inside the former, there are numerous historic rooms, such as the Council Hall and the Supreme Council Hall. Another room, which is furnished with golden chattels used for state receptions, is also open to visitors. The old Goblin tapestries that hang everywhere are especially worth seeing.

St Johns Co-Cathedral

St Johns Co-Cathedral, said to be one of the most beautiful churches in the Mediterranean region, was built between 1573 and 1577 by Gerolamo Cassar, who was also the architect of the Grand Master’s Palace. The cathedral’s interior is divided into twelve apses, and in the crypt, knights of various orders and most of the Grand Masters have been laid to rest under 375 grave slabs of multi-coloured marble. These sarcophagi are some of the most beautiful art pieces of the High Baroque period. In addition to the Goblin tapestry, you can also see important paintings in the adjacent gallery.

Fort St ElmoFort St Elmo

This fort was built shortly before the construction of Valletta, at the northern tip of the headland, on which Valletta is built. During the Ottoman Siege, it withstood attacks for over a month before it was almost completely destroyed. After its reconstruction, it continued to serve a military purpose. Today, the National War Museum is located inside. On display, there are documents from the second Maltese siege (1940 - 1943), a combat fighter airplane and the original George Cross.

Alexandra S.

Further reading on this subject (from our online bookshop):
City of Valletta and Floriana
Valletta, the capital of Malta, is a World Heritage City.

It is the creation of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, known as the Knigh ... mehr
Malta History & Tradition
- Sliema
- Valletta
- Markets
- St. John's CO-Cathedral
- Marsaxlokk
- Mdina
- Grand Harbour
- Island ... mehr
Tourist maps with street index (9th edition)
This is the most updated & userfriendly Map of the Maltese Islands. Open the map to see for yourself that the large scale Malta and Gozo map is ea ... mehr

Short info:

Region: Valletta
Category: Town

Location on the map in Malta

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