Malta, the island republic in the Mediterranean

Monday, 30 April 2012 - 01:07 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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Valletta - Grand Harbour © Henry M. Trotter

Valletta – Grand Harbour © Henry M. Trotter

Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, 80 km (50 mi) south of Sicily, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya, with Gibraltar 1,755 km (1,091 mi) to the west and Alexandria 1,508 km (937 mi) to the east. Malta covers just over 316 km2 (122 sq mi) in land area, making it one of the world’s smallest states. It is also one of the most densely populated countries worldwide. The de facto capital city of Malta is Valletta; the largest town, Birkirkara. The main island comprises many towns, which together form one Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) with a population of 368,250 according to Eurostat. The country has two official languages, Maltese (considered the national language) and English.

Throughout history, Malta’s location has given it great strategic importance, and a succession of powers including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Aragonese, Knights of St John, French and the British ruled the islands. Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 and became a republic in 1974, whilst retaining membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. Malta was admitted to the United Nations in 1964 and to the European Union in 2004. Malta is also party to the Schengen Agreement and in 2008 it became part of the eurozone.

Valletta - Courtyard of the Grandmaster's Palace © PodracerHH Pinto Wharf © Vallletta Waterfront St Luke's Hospital in Sliema, seen from Marsamxett Harbour © Thyes Saint Paul's Bay © flickr.com - Kirill Azhitsky Mdina - St Pauls Cathedral © Berthold Werner Dingli Cliffs, the highest point on Malta © Thyes Blue Lagoon Bay between Comino and Cominotto island © Erik1980 AIDAcara in Valletta's maritime industrial zone © Rolf Krahl Valletta - Grandmaster's Palace © Berthold Werner Valletta - Court House © Berthold Werner Valletta, seen from Senglea © Myriam Thyes Valletta, seen from Fort Manoel © Myriam Thyes Valetta - Grandmaster's Palace © Jean-Christophe BENOIST Valletta - Grand Harbour © Henry M. Trotter
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St Luke's Hospital in Sliema, seen from Marsamxett Harbour © Thyes
Malta has a long Christian legacy and is an Apostolic see. According to the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible, St. Paul was shipwrecked on “Melite”, as the Greeks called the island, and ministered there. Catholicism is the official religion in Malta as declared by the Maltese constitution.

Malta is internationally renowned as a tourist destination, with numerous recreational areas and historical monuments, including nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, most prominently the Megalithic Temples which are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world.

Read more on Government of Malta, Malta Tourism, Popeye Village, Wikitravel Malta, Wikivoyage Malta and Wikipedia Malta. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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