The role of Malta in the Second World War reflects the strategic position that it held in the Mediterranean as it acted as a gateway between the continents of Europe and Africa seeing as it was Britain’s most important Mediterranean naval base. Hence, when Mussolini plunged Italy into the war in 1940, Malta knew that it was destined to play a frontline role. In fact, Malta holds the record for the heaviest, sustained bombing attack: some 154 days and nights and 6,700 tons of bombs.
The people in Malta faced many challenges. Those who lived in the capital Valletta and “The Three Cities” had to be evacuated because of the danger of bombing and were also forced underground into a network of bomb shelters that could reportedly house nearly half of the island’s population. Due to the ferocious bombing, many towns and villages were reduced to rubble and hence, most people were spending long periods in the shelters as a form of protection.
When their morale was at its lowest, there came a glimmer of light, of hope, of joy for such a long-suffering people. The bravery and courage portrayed by the Islands population was not gone unnoticed and on the 15th April, 1942, King George VI awarded the island the George Cross, which is considered to be the highest civilian medal, for its peoples bravery and heroism.
“To honour her brave people, I award the George Cross to the Island Fortress of Malta to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that long be famous in history”.
Once the war ended, the Maltese Islands were economically and physically devastated. In 1947, the Islands were granted around £30 million to help rebuild it. However it took several decades and further restructuring once the British forces left Malta completely in 1979, to rebuild the economy.
Re-live the Great Siege that erupted between the Knights of St John and the fierce Ottoman Empire; French and British rule; and the city’s heroic role in World War II. Check Out the Valletta History Package offered by this Luxury Malta Hotel.
Bring about a “body revival” and induce absolute relaxation, on the Mediterranean Island of Malta.
With a sea of turquoise blue, a spectacular coastline and megalithic structures pre-dating Stonehenge.
This is an island of hidden secrets.
Should you wish to experience one of our Special Malta Spa Packages kindly contact us on email@example.com or on +356 21250520.
300 days of sunshine, crystal clear Mediterranean waters, 7,000 years of history, thriving local traditions and laid-back rural villages, delicious cuisine and a vibrant nightlife – Welcome to Malta!
Stay at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, two minutes away from Valletta, and relive the Knight’s of St. John legacy. Visit the medieval city of Mdina, one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city and extraordinary in its mix of medieval and baroque architecture. Head north to enjoy Mediterranean sun, sand and sea. Experience Gozo where tranquillity is still a way of life. Enjoy Malta’s religious ‘festas’, adorned churches and glittering firework displays. Discover megalithic temples, rugged countryside and dramatic cliffs or submerge into a diver’s paradise. Wine and dine in stylish surroundings and party in lively evening venues.
If you have only three days in Malta, do not attempt to see it all. Although the area covered by the Maltese Islands is just 316 km², there is plenty to see and do so we recommend you experience just a few of Malta’s highlights to get a feeling of the island’s character.
We will start by giving you information about Things to do in Malta on Day 1.
With the Grand Hotel Excelsior as your home, the Capital Valletta, is probably the most obvious place to start. With the entire city declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, walking through its streets is nothing short of walking through an open-air museum. Walk along Republic Street to St John’s Co-Cathedral, the jewel of Valletta, with its gilded interior enough to make one’s jaw drop. Look out for the Caravaggio’s only signed painting, The Beheading of St John. Exit the Catheral and dive into the open-air market in Merchants’ Street. All in all, Valletta is also a great place for shopping.
Do take the time to wander through the alleyways, up and down the lopes and stairways, and to sit under the sun with a coffee watching the pigeons. In whichever order you choose to do these, try to be at the Upper Barrakka Gardens at noon for the re-enactment and shooting of the cannon, and enjoy one of the most spectacular views in Malta, that of the Grand Harbour.
For the afternoon we recommend a Harbour Cruise which takes you to see the the Three Cities from a unique perspective and which offers an insight to the essence of Maltese History.
Tomorrow we will be giving you some tips on what to do in Malta on Day 2. So visit the Blogs of the Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta to stay updated.
Photos courtesy of the Malta Tourism Authority.