Highlights of Malta
Malta packs more medieval fortifications into a small area than
perhaps any other country. Malta's capital Valletta is built
upon massive walls, essential to 16th Century defense. Now the
walls are tourist attractions and form a unique World Heritage
Site that includes Valletta in its entirety. Above is historic Fort
St Angelo, another part of Malta's Grand Harbor.
Call them the Knights of Malta, Knights Hospitaller of St
John of Jerusalem, Knights of Rhodes, Knights of St John,
among other names, but they are the last remaining order
of original Christian Crusaders.
Now, as it was in the beginning, they have returned to
running hospitals and practicing medicine, based in Rome.
For centuries the Knights ruled Malta as fierce warriors on
land and sea, building fortifications strong enough to defeat
the great Ottoman Empire siege of 1565, later expanding
their walls to discourage subsequent attacks.
Mdina is inland, part of central Malta. This ancient citadel,
like Malta itself, has known many rulers. The Arabs/Moors
took over in the 9th Century, and their name stuck, which
means "walled city". Under subsequent Christian control, St
Paul's Cathedral was built, now dominating the high
ground. Mdina seems lost in some long ago vanished time.
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