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In around 870 AD, Arab invaders arrived and destroyed much of the civilization on Malta (and nearby Sicily), abandoning it until they decided to colonize it, beginning in 1048. The Norman Invasion came in 1091, and Malta soon joined Sicily to become the Kingdom of Sicily, which was ruled by a series of kings. Thereafter, in 1530 the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, signed a lease transferring control of Malta to the Knights Hospitaller. The annual tribute to be paid by the Grand Master of the Order was 1 Maltese Falcon.
French forces led by Napoleon took over Malta in 1798, however French rule was unpopular and the Maltese residents rose in rebellion, resulting in Malta's agreeing to become part of the British Empire in 1814. Malta became independent from Britain in 1964.
Neighboring Countries :
The nearest countries to Malta include Italy (closest to its southernmost island, Sicily), Tunisia, and Libya across the Mediterranean Sea.
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- Valletta (capital)
Malta is an island nation consisting of an archipelago of three main islands and many smaller islands. The major islands of Malta are called Malta, Gozo, and Comino, and these are the only parts of Malta that are inhabited. Smaller islands include Cominotto, Fungus Rock, Islands of St. Paul, Manoel Island, and Filfla. These small islands are mostly impossible to inhabit, but Manoel Island, located within the main island and connected by a bridge, was once home to a military fort, and now serves as a wildlife sanctuary.
The coastline is peppered with inlets and harbors along the way, and though some waterways form during rainy seasons, Malta has no permanent rivers or lakes. The water off the coast is typically turquoise and clear. The terrain of Malta is mainly hilly, with its highest point just 253 meters (830 feet) above sea level at Ta' Dmejrek.
There are no permanent rivers on Malta, though there are a few small rain-fed rivers. Lunzjata Valley, San Martin, and Bahra are some of the locations where watercourses bearing fresh water can be seen throughout the year.
Points of Interest :
Malta is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One is the Megalithic Temples, a collection of five prehistoric stone temples, known to be some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world. The entire capital city, Valletta, has been designated a UNESCO site for its buildings built back in the 16th century. The harbor town features St John's Co-Cathedral and its museum, home to remarkable works of art by artists such as Caravaggio, the Palace of the Grand Masters, museums, and forts, as well as dining, shopping, and nightlife opportunities.
The Hal-Seflieni Hypogeum is a historic underground structure that once served as a necropolis. Constructed with three levels, the structure was built into existing underground caves and expanded. This Hypogeum is the only known one of its kind worldwide.
The old capital of Malta, Mdina, is an Arabic fortified city with stone architecture, narrow winding alleys, museums, and St. Paul's Cathedral.
Malta's airport is called Malta International Airport, located between Luqa and Gudja. The main island is home to three main harbors: Grand Harbor, Marsamxett Harbor, and Marsaxlokk Harbor, which handle passenger ferries, cargo, and yachts. Ferries are the main way to travel between islands in Malta.
Buses are the main method of public transportation to get around Malta, with frequent service. Malta once had a railway, but it is no longer in use. Cars are very common on Malta, and the majority of the roads are paved, and the major roads are well maintained.
Last Updated On : July 28, 2015
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