Category Archives: Malta Tours

Things to do in Malta: Prehistoric temples in Malta

 Malta History
 
 
The Mediterranean island of Malta figures in the historical record of Europe due to its association with the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. However this small island, of 243 square kilometres, has a far greater importance in European prehistory due to its extraordinary collection of megalithic temples.
  
Malta Archeology
According to the studies of orthodox archaeologists, the remains of bones, fragments of pottery, and marks of fire indicate that human beings have lived on Malta since at least 5200 BC. Evidence suggests, these early people lived in caves, but later built huts and villages. Approximately 1600 years after their arrival in Malta, these people began the formation of stupendous megalithic temples. The ruins now remaining are the bare skeletons of once magnificent structures, mostly roofed over, paved, furnished with doors and curtains, and beautifully decorated with sculptures and paintings.
 
On the Islands of Malta and Gozo, one may find around 23 temples in various states of preservation although the remains of 50 temples have been found. No particular pattern emerges from the distribution of these temples and this may be explained by the probability that numerous temples were destroyed in antiquity and that others remain to be discovered.
 
History of Malta
Amongst these 23 temples is the Hypogeum which is situated in Paola, and was discovered surprisingly by workmen digging at about 3.5 m under the road surface. The word Hypogeum comes from the Greek word “Ipogaina”, which means, “an underground construction sunk into the solid rock.” It is a UNESCO World Heritage site like the other temples in Malta. This underground temple is made up from a set of rooms and caves dug by Copper Age people, most probably between the years 4100 B.C. and 2500 B.C. At the beginning of its existence, the Hypogeum was used as a temple or sanctuary as well as a burial place. This is known due to its architectural resemblance to the freestanding Megalithic Temples outside. However the greatest evidence present is the number of statuettes of the Fat Lady, their goddess of Fertility. A big statue of a “sleeping Lady” was also found in this temple. The discoveries of some 7,000 human bones were also found in the temple and many dead people were found buried with their personal belongings.
 
The megalithic temple of Hagar Qim is another historical wonder situated in the West of Malta, near the village of Qrendi and was built between 3600 B.C. and 3000 B.C. The name Hagar Qim means “free-standing boulders” and was first explored in 1839. Hagar Qim was the third temple to be built in the Maltese Islands and its layout is very similar in shape to the other temples. The original alters previously found in the temple can now be found in the Museum of Archaeology.
 
Though of more recent origin than the great megalithic temples, the Romanesque basilica of Ta’ Pinu in Gozo is of importance as a pilgrimage site. Legends relate that in 1883, a local woman named Carmel Grima heard a voice telling her to pray by a 16th century chapel. A friend, Francesco Portelli, confirmed that he had also heard the voice and thus they prayed together for Francesco’s bedridden mother and she soon experienced a miraculous recovery. More miraculous healings were thereafter reported and from thanksgiving offerings the present sanctuary was built in the 1920’s.The sanctuary incorporates the early chapel, whose original caretaker, Pinu Gauci, lent his name to the site. The Ta’ Pinu Shrine is visited for its healing qualities and is also sacred to sailors. Many locals as well as foreigners visit the site to offer thanksgiving and pay for healings.
 
If you enjoy reading about Malta and its interesting history, contact the chauffeur driven service at one of the top Malta hotels. With a list of Malta Tours and Excursions they will surely help you enjoy unique and memorable Malta holidays.
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Sailing in Malta

 

sailing malta

Are you looking forward to some nice weather? The Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta offers a unique opportunity to discover the beauty of the Maltese Islands by sailing in crystal clear waters, under deep blue skies.
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Where to Visit in Malta – The Maritime Museum

Malta Maritime History
The Maritime Museum charts Malta’s maritime history within a Mediterranean context and also illustrates the global nature of seafaring and its impact on society. The Museum is situated within the former British Naval Bakery in Vittoriosa. The building was erected between 1842 and 1845 on the site of the old covered slipway of the Knights of St John.
The bakery was the hub of the Victualling Yard and supplied the Royal Navy with its daily requirements of bread and biscuits. After World War II it was converted into offices and stores and as the headquarters of the Admiralty Constabulary. The building remained part of the naval establishment up to the closure of the British base in 1979.
At the entrance of the Museum, one may view the ‘Anadrian Hall’ which exhibits the engine room machinery of the Anadrian, which was a steam- driven grab dredger built in 1951 for Malta. The first floor houses a display on the Merchant Navy and exhibits a collection of detailed ship replicas and paintings illustrating 19th and 20th century vessels most of which served on the Malta run. The nearby St Angelo Hall, the museum’s events and lecture room, is decorated with an array of colourful ship badges.
Organised into thematic and chronological sectors, the Main Hall illustrates developments from ancient times to the end of the rule of the Order of St John in Malta. Navigational charts, nautical instruments and a series of portraits set the scene for the navy of the Order of St John. This display includes paintings, weapons, uniforms, anchors, maps, models and other artefacts dating from 1530 to 1798. An entire room is dedicated to traditional Maltese sea crafts and other objects that indicate popular traditions and Malta’s long-standing maritime vocation. In the Customs Hall there is a variety of standard weights and measures and other objects, including the uniform of an inspector of Marine Police, which bear witness to the importance of Malta’s historic links with maritime commerce and traffic.
For almost two hundred years, Malta was the home of the British Mediterranean fleet. The Royal Navy kept a vast establishment on the Maltese Islands. The final hall presents an overview of Malta as a naval base, and depicts aspects of naval and civilian life, both leisure and work. There is also a wide collection of paintings, photographs, models, uniforms, weapons, instruments and other artefacts that illustrate the history of the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean during the 19th and 20th centuries and attest to the Navy’s impact on the economy and social life on the Maltese islands.
Should you wish to visit the Malta Maritime Museum during your holidays kindly contact the transport desk at this Luxury Malta Hotel on transport@excelsior.com.mt. Alternatively you may wish to experience one of our unique Malta Tours
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