Category Archives: Maltese History

What makes Malta unique to locals?

It is often the tourists who are asked what makes Malta unique for them. Have you ever wondered what would locals consider special about their own country?

The size and connection: In Malta wherever one goes and whoever they meet, they will always find out that they are somehow connected either through family, friends, workmates etc. Malta is also unique due to it’s short distances, great weather, beautiful sea and the fact that no one is more than 30 minutes away. Wherever on the island, you are always only a maximum of 20 minutes away from the beautiful sea and coast. Due to the island’s size, travelling abroad is very easy – the Malta International Airport is easily accessible from all around the island, so travelling for even a short break is a worthwhile.

Malta boasts a diverse multi-faceted history, combined with a geographical location, excellent weather and relatively a safe destination. The megalithic structures are claimed of being the oldest free standing edifices in the world, predating Stonehenge.

St. John's Co Cathedral

St. John’s Co Cathedral, Valletta

Other unique Maltese characteristics include:

  • Malta is also renowned for its old character houses with the colourful Maltese balconies and local traditional food.
  • Malta’s historic bastions which give beautiful scenes to Malta’s landscapes.
  • A church on every street corner with people actually still going to church in great numbers.
  • No matter how much Maltese complain about the way they do things, they are truly good at heart.
  • Maltese also consider themselves to be hardworking, generous and compassionate.
  • As in other countries in the South of Europe, the Maltese are also known for living with their parents well into their twenties and thirties.

If you would like to know more about Malta’s history and culture and would like to visit some interesting places during your holidays in Malta feel free to check out our self-guided Malta tours. Kindly also contact our chauffeur driven service and they will be able to assist you.

Photo courtesy of Viewing Malta

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Places to visit in Malta: The Hypogeum

Hypogeum

The Hypogeum is a unique monument of prehistoric Malta, rich in artifacts, including pottery, bones and carved figurines. However, to ensure the conservation of the Hypogeum, the number of visitors per day is restricted.

If you wish to visit the Hypogeum during your holidays in Malta, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. Our transport desk will be able to assist you in obtaining last minute tickets. This service is available at an additional charge. Find out more about the Hypogeum.

Discover the most beautiful places on our Maltese islands in comfort, style and with the security of our experienced Grand Hotel Excelsior chauffeurs. Contact the transport desk at this Luxury 5 star hotel in Malta on +356 21250520 or on transport@excelsior.com.mt.

Photo courtesy of Viewingmalta.com

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Experience Medieval Mdina

An age of chivalry

mdina

Mdina was inhabited and possibly first fortified by the Phoenicians around 700 BCE. Phoenicians called it Maleth. The region benefits from its strategic location on one of the island’s highest points and at maximum distance from the sea. Under the Roman Empire, Malta became a Municipium and the Roman Governor built his palace in Mdina. Tradition holds that the Apostle St. Paul resided in the city after his historical shipwreck on the islands. Much of its present architecture reflects the Fatimid Period which began in 999 AD until the Norman conquest of Malta in 1091 AD. The Normans surrounded the city with thick defensive fortifications and widened the moat. The city was also separated it from its nearest town, Rabat.

Malta passed to the Order of Knights of the Hospitallier of St John of Jerusalem in 1530 AD. Mdina hosted the public ceremony in which each Grand Master swore an oath to protect the Maltese Islands and the rights of his subjects. A strong earthquake in 1693 AD led to the introduction of Baroque design within the cityscape. The Knights of Malta rebuilt the cathedral, to the designs of Maltese architect Lorenzo Gafa. Palazzo Falzon, the Magisterial Palace and major restoration works are other projects undertaken by the Knights.

Another great Event in Malta – the Mdina Festival

the-medieval-mdina-festival 2

The Medieval Mdina Festival will be organised for the fifth consecutive year in the streets of Mdina. The Festival will be held between the 3rd and 4th May 2014. During this two day event there will be re-enactments by foreign and local groups, Medieval Music, Sbandieratori, Illusionist, Jester, Falconry and birds of prey, Lectures, Concerts, Food & Drinks, Medieval Market, Medieval Kitchen and Children’s Area.

The popularity of this Festival is evident from the number of visitors in previous years. The request from a good number of foreigners and Travel Agents proves that this festival is now popular as well with foreign enthusiasts. Some Tour Operators also advertise the Festival in their brochures. During the Festival the participants will perform all day long in various corners and squares of Mdina. Exhibits will include battles, skirmishes, re-enactments of scenes from the Medieval Period,
like the Town Crier, a Slave Market, a re-enactment of a Medieval Kitchen, Sword Fighting, Archery, Medieval Tavern, Magic Shows, Live Music, Birds of Prey flights, Parades, Flag Throwing shows, and spontaneous re-enactments.

The festival serves as a cultural exchange between local talents and foreign groups, disseminating the cultural heritage of the Medieval Times. It is also a good educational exercise to teach both children and adults the history of the City of Mdina. During the festival all the Tourist Attractions extend their opening hours and offer special reduced prices. Food and drinks will be in abundance during the Festival and a good number of outlets will offer medieval food on in their menus during those days.

As it is the smallest Local Council on the Island, the Mdina Local Council requires a lot of support to organise such a significant event. Indeed the festival is supported by a number of Goverment Departments; residents and the local Business Community, particularly the SMEs present in Mdina.This assistance takes several forms, ranging from advertising to direct participation. Indeed, some companies set up stands exhibiting their products, and are directly involved in exchanges with similar international exhibitors. This gives the festival another dimension, that of a promoter for exchange of ideas amongst other business communities.

The Grand Hotel Excelsior offers you great insight on things to do in Malta. Visit the website of this superior 5 star hotel in Malta and stay updated with events taking place around Malta.

Photos courtesy of www.viewingmalta.com.

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