Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Maltese Cross

Introduced to Malta by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem upon taking possession of the islands in 1530, the Maltese Cross has become an intrinsic part of Malta’s culture and heritage, as well as a much-cherished symbol by the Maltese.

The Maltese Cross formally adopted by the Knights Hospitallers of St. John in 1126, stylistically owes its origins to the crosses used in the crusades, when it was identified as the symbol of the “Christian warrior”: Its eight points denote the eight obligations or aspirations of the knights, namely “to live in truth, have faith, repent one’s sins, give proof of humility, love justice, be merciful, be sincere and wholehearted, and to endure persecution”. With time, the eight points also came to represent the eight “langues” (literally “tongues”, but in effect national groupings) of the noblemen who were admitted to the famed order, namely those of Auvergne, Provence, France, Aragon, Castille and Portugal, Italy, Baviere (Germany), and England (with Scotland and Ireland). The Maltese cross remains the symbol of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

The link between the Maltese Cross and these islands was forged with the Knights’ arrival in Malta in 1530. By then, the Cross had become the established symbol of the Order, and as the Knights set about putting their stamp on these islands through their inspired architectural feats and patronage of the arts, so the Maltese Cross provided the signature to this glorious legacy. The Cross found itself on coats-of-arms, palaces, hospitals, the entrances and gates to various forts and towers, on fortifications as well as on coins, cannon, monuments, churches, paintings and frescoes, furniture, silverware and jewelry.
A selection of souvenirs including thimbles, magnets, baseball caps, lighters and pendants featuring the Maltese Cross are available at the Grand Hotel Excelsior’s Gift Shops.
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Sunday’s Symphony – Excelsior Sunday Lunch

Our Popular Sunday Lunch will be back starting 2nd October 2011

With 6 life cooking stations to tempt you, and 20 different desert dishes to choose from, the Sunday Lunch Buffet becomes a never-ending exploration of the world’s finest cuisines.
Each station offers authentic, ethnic dishes to taste and explore – from Asian, Indian and Turkish to French, Lebanese and Spanish.
Excelsior’s team of chefs uses only the freshest ingredients guaranteeing the finest in 5-star cuisine.
There’s live entertainment for the grown-ups, a menu for the children and animation to keep the young ones occupied while you relax.
And those wonderful Harbour views from the Spice Island Restaurant windows complete the picture.
Call the Grand Hotel Excelsior on 2125 0520 to make your booking for Sunday Lunch or email food.beverage@excelsior.com.mt.
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Gozo – Excelsior Malta Excursions

Gozo, meaning “joy” in Castilian, is the second largest Island of the Maltese archipelago, with a population of approximately 30,000.
Though separated from mainland Malta by a 5km stretch of sea, Gozo is distinctly different from Malta. The Island is a third the size of Malta, more rural and simple, its culture and way of life rooted in fishing, as well as in primitive pastoral and agricultural activity.
Exuding a relaxed pace of life, Gozo is the ideal secluded safe haven and at just 25 minutes or so by ferry from Malta, the hop can easily be made for even the shortest stay.
Gozo and its inhabitants have their own distinct character and identity, with noticeably different lifestyles, accents and dialect. Gozitans are known for their friendliness and welcome to visitors, going out of their way to indicate a direction or help a visitor find their destination.
The real beauty of Gozo, apart from its stunning seascape and interior, lies in the villages. Here, it seems as if time really does stand still. The locals treasure their peace and the villages are tranquil, proving to be a wonderful respite from the trials and tribulations of everyday life for visitors.
Village bars open early in order to cater for the early risers who attend the first mass of the morning and close fairly late at night, catering for the socialising needs of locals and visitors. These watering holes have stayed unchanged for decades, the only sign of time passing by being the food and drink displayed for sale on the solid shelves and the Edwardian glass cases.
All roads in Gozo lead to Victoria, also known as Rabat, which is where the fortified citadel sits atop a summit.
Restaurants abound in Rabat, Mgarr and the fishing villages of Marsalforn and Xlendi, as well as in several other places.
Price for 2 to 4 persons: 160 Euro, or
Price for 5 to 6 persons: 180 Euro.

Should you wish to experience one of Our Special Malta Tours kindly contact our chauffeur driven service on: +356 2125 0520 or concierge@excelsior.com.mt.

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