Sites that you cannot miss seeing if you are in or visiting The Maltese Islands.
The Ggantija Temples (Gozo) are the oldest standing structures in Malta which were built during the Neolithic Age (i.e. long before the advent of modern technology or the complex machines of the Middle Ages). Their biggest allure is, by far, the fact that they are older than the pyramids of Egypt. The oldest spirals to have ever been recorded in the world are those carved within the Ġgantija Temples in Gozo.
Hypogeum (Hal-Saflieni) is the oldest example of prehistoric hypogea (underground chamber) anywhere in the world. It dates back to 3600-3300BC, which makes it some 5,500 years old.
St John’s Co-Cathedral (Valletta) is a baroque church that is absolutely breath-taking, particularly its floor, which has been dubbed ‘the most beautiful floor in the world’. It also houses Caravaggio’s only signed work, ‘The Beheading of St John the Baptist.’
Our Lady of Victories Church (Valletta) was the first building erected in Valletta, with its first stone being placed by Grandmaster Jean Parisot de Valette, himself.
St Lawrence’s Church (Vittoriosa, The Three Cities) is believed to be the oldest church in Malta, commissioned by Count Roger of the Normans. The current structure was rebuilt in the 17th century.
St Paul’s Grotto (Rabat) is where St Paul is believed to have stayed after declining to stay in Malta’s governor’s villa. The grotto has since been visited by two Popes and has been flocked to by pilgrims for over 1,000 years.
The Inquisitor’s Palace (Vittoriosa) was the official residence of Malta’s Inquisitor, which fell under the Roman (and not the Spanish) jurisdiction. It’s one of the very few surviving palaces of its kind anywhere in the world.
Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary’s (Gozo) origins are unknown, but the earliest mention of a shrine here is from 1575. The Sanctuary is now a Basilica, meaning that it received an apostolic grant (like St Helen’s Basilica in Birkirkara, among others).
The Mdina Dungeons (Mdina) may be known as a museum, but they also tell of the darker side to our old capital’s and country’s history, which many choose to forget.
Fort St Elmo (Valletta) was named after Erasmus de Formia and played a crucial role in the victory against the Ottoman Empire in the Great Siege of Malta of 1565.
What other historical sites do you think should make our next list? Let us know in the comments section below.