Min jistenna jithenna – He who waits is rewarded
Fejn thobb il-qalb jimxu r-riglejn – Where the heart loves, that’s where the legs walk.
Ghidli ma’ min taghmilha u nghidlek x’int – Tell me who you’re friends with and I’ll tell you what you are
Qis mitt darba u aqta’ darba – Measure 100 times and cut once.
Malta officially known as the Republic of Malta and formerly Melita, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km (50 mi) south of Italy, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia, and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya. With a population of about 515,000 over an area of 316 km2 (122 sq mi), Malta is the world’s tenth smallest country in area and fourth most densely populated sovereign country. Its capital is Valletta, which is the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.61 km2 (0.24 sq mi). The official and national language is Maltese, which is descended from Sicilian Arabic that developed during the Emirate of Sicily, while English serves as the second official language. Italian and Sicilian also previously served as official and cultural languages on the island for centuries, with Italian being an official language in Malta until 1934 and a majority of the current Maltese population being at least conversational in the Italian language. Malta has been inhabited since approximately 5900 BC. Its location in the centre of the Mediterranean has historically given it great strategic importance as a naval base, with a succession of powers having contested and ruled the islands, including the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Aragonese, Knights of St. John, French, and British. Most of these foreign influences have left some sort of mark on the country’s ancient culture. Malta became a British colony in 1813, serving as a way station for ships and the headquarters for the British Mediterranean Fleet. It was besieged by the Axis powers during World War II and was an important Allied base for operations in North Africa and the Mediterranean. The British parliament passed the Malta Independence Act in 1964, giving Malta independence from the United Kingdom as the State of Malta, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and queen. The country became a republic in 1974. It has been a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations since independence, and joined the European Union in 2004; it became part of the eurozone monetary union in 2008. Malta has had Christians since the time of Early Christianity, though was predominantly Muslim while under Arab rule, at which time Christians were tolerated. Muslim rule ended with the Norman invasion of Malta by Roger I in 1091. Today, Catholicism is the state religion, but the Constitution of Malta guarantees freedom of conscience and religious worship.
The Azure Window (Maltese: it-Tieqa Żerqa), also known as the Dwejra Window , was a 28-metre-tall (92 ft) natural arch on the island of Gozo, located just off the shores of Malta. The limestone feature, which was in Dwejra Bay close to the Inland Sea and Fungus Rock, was one of the island’s major tourist attractions until it collapsed in stormy weather on 8 March 2017. The small rock over the water is no longer accessible by walking. The arch, together with other natural features in the area, has appeared in a number of international films and media productions. The rock formation, which consisted of a pillar rising from the sea joined to the cliff by a horizontal slab, was created by the collapse of a sea cave, probably during the 19th century. The final collapse followed a century of natural erosion, during which large sections of the limestone arch had broken off and fallen into the sea.
The Blue Grotto (Maltese: Taħt il-Ħnejja) refers to a number of sea caverns on the south east coast of Malta, a short distance off the fishermen’s harbour of Wied iż-Żurrieq limits of Qrendi, Malta Wied iz-Zurrieq, the blue grotto and neighboring caves, are all located within the Qrendi village confines, as per Local Council Act 1993 and a 1910 legal dispute between the villages of Qrendi and Zurrieq over their jurisdiction, ruled in favour of Qrendi. Both the Wied iz-Zurrieq harbor and Blue Grotto sea caves are located on the coastline right opposite to the small uninhabited islet of Filfla. The island now serves as a bird sanctuary. The location of the caves, combined with the rays of sunlight, lead to the seawater mirroring and showing numerous shades of blue on the cave walls and ceilings. Several caverns also mirror the brilliant phosphorescent colours of the underwater flora and fauna, whilst other caverns show a deep dark shade of blue.
Hagar Qim Temples
Ħaġar Qim “Standing/Worshipping Stones” is a megalithic temple complex found on the Mediterranean island of Malta, dating from the Ġgantija phase (3600-3200 BC). The Megalithic Temples of Malta are among the most ancient religious sites on Earth, described by the World Heritage Sites committee as “unique architectural masterpieces.” In 1992 UNESCO recognized Ħaġar Qim and four other Maltese megalithic structures as World Heritage Sites. V. Gordon Childe, Professor of Prehistoric European Archeology and director of the Institute of Archaeology in the University of London from 1946-1957 visited Ħaġar Qim. He wrote, “I have been visiting the prehistoric ruins all round the Mediterranean, from Mesopotamia to Egypt, Greece and Switzerland, but I have nowhere seen a place as old as this one.”
Marsaxlokk is a small, traditional fishing village in the South Eastern Region of Malta. It has a harbour, and is a tourist attraction known for its views, fishermen and history. As at March 2014, the village had a population of 3,534. The village is also known for the Marsaxlokk Market, which is mainly a large fish market which takes place along the seafront on Sundays, and a tourist market during all other days of the week. Inhabited and well-known since antiquity, Marsaxlokk was used as a port by Phoenicians, Carthaginians and also has the remains of a Roman-era harbour. Originally a part of the city of Żejtun, the fishing village became a separate parish in the late nineteenth century. Traditional luzzi and other larger and more modern vessels line the sheltered inner harbour. The village is also popular among locals and tourists alike for its walks around the coast and harbour, its restaurants, as well as for its swimming zones. Marsaxlokk Bay also includes a container freeport towards Birżebbuġa, a power station complex towards Delimara, and a small ship-repair facility for fishermen. Marsaxlokk is sometimes referred to as Portus Herculis, due to the association of Marsaxlokk Bay with the Roman and Punic remains at Tas-Silġ.
Mdina also known by its titles Città Vecchia or Città Notabile, is a fortified city in the Northern Region of Malta which served as the island’s capital from antiquity to the medieval period. The city is still confined within its walls, and has a population of just under 300, but it is contiguous with the town of Rabat, which takes its name from the Arabic word for suburb, and has a population of over 11,000 (as of March 2014). The city was founded as Maleth in around the 8th century BC by Phoenician settlers, and was later renamed Melite by the Romans. Ancient Melite was larger than present-day Mdina, and it was reduced to its present size during the Byzantine or Arab occupation of Malta. During the latter period, the city adopted its present name, which derives from the Arabic word medina. The city remained the capital of Malta throughout the Middle Ages, until the arrival of the Order of St. John in 1530, when Birgu became the administrative centre of the island. Mdina experienced a period of decline over the following centuries, although it saw a revival in the early 18th century. At this point, it acquired several Baroque features, although it did not lose its medieval character. Mdina remained the centre of the Maltese nobility and religious authorities (and property continues to largely be passed down from families and from generation to generation), but it never regained its pre-1530 importance, giving rise to the popular nickname the “Silent City” by both locals and visitors.
Valletta is the capital city of Malta. Located in the South Eastern Region of the main island, between Marsamxett Harbour to the west and the Grand Harbour to the east, its population in 2014 was 6,444, while the metropolitan area around it has a population of 393,938. Valletta is second only to Nicosia as the southernmost capital of Europe, and at just 0.61 square kilometres (61 ha), it is the European Union’s smallest capital city. Valletta’s 16th-century buildings were constructed by the Knights Hospitaller. The city was named after Jean Parisot de Valette, who succeeded in defending the island from an Ottoman invasion during the Great Siege of Malta. The city is Baroque in character, with elements of Mannerist, Neo-Classical and Modern architecture, though the Second World War left major scars on the city, particularly the destruction of the Royal Opera House. The city is noted for its fortifications, consisting of bastions, curtains and cavaliers, along with the beauty of its Baroque palaces, gardens and churches.
Xwejni Bay – Salt Pans
Xwejni Bay is a bay located in the northern part of Gozo, Malta, within the limits of the village of Żebbuġ. It is used as a bathing bay and starting point for divers. The nearest place on the coast is Marsalforn. The bay has a small pebbly beach, and at the west of the bay is an upstream plateau with a double arch and a cave along the coast.