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Location - Mediterranean Europe; Capital - Valletta; Population - 420,000; Currency - Euro MORE MALTA

I timed a visit to Malta to coincide with Notte Bianca, held in the capital Valletta at the end of September.


euroMalta is a relative newcomer to the Euro zone










malta4Valletta is a tiny capital situated at the head of a peninsula - Valletta



malta63It has a population of less than 7,000 - Valletta



malta7A Doric temple sits in the Lower Barrakka Gardens - Valletta













malta9Below the Lower Barrakka Gardens is the Siege Bell Memorial, which commemorates lost lives in WWII convoys from 1940-43.
Beyond is Ricasoli Fort - Valletta













malta10Fort St Angelo lies across the Grand Harbour in Vittoriosa - Valletta



malta14Dockyard Creek divides the towns of Vittoriosa (left) and Senglea, as seen from the Lower Barrakka Gardens in Valletta $600 Bonus


malta13aThe Upper Barrakka Gardens (the highest point in the photo) and Grand Harbour at Valletta













malta102Notte Bianca gets into full swing on Triq ir-Repubblika in Valletta












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malta107The 18th century Auberge de Castille is now the Prime Minister's office - Valletta



malta105The Auberge de Castille is only open to the public on Notte Bianca (White Night), an evening in September where museums and government offices are open into the early hours, free of charge. Music and cultural performances take place, and bars & restaurants are heaving - Valletta


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malta111The grounds of the Upper Barrakka Gardens - Valletta















malta108A band performs at the Upper Barrakka Gardens on Notte Bianca - Valletta















malta114A few days after Notte Bianca the island celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Armed Forces of Malta. They performed at the Upper Barrakka Gardens - Valletta



malta110The Lower Barrakka Gardens can be seen from the Upper Barrakka Gardens. The bright building is the Gardens' Doric temple - Valletta



malta125Valletta was built in the 16th & 17th centuries, following the Great Siege of Malta in 1565.
The siege comprised the successful defence of the island by the Knights of St John against the Ottomans led by Suleyman the Magnificent - Valletta













malta16Ricasoli Fort, across the Grand Harbour from Valletta, where scenes from Gladiator and Troy were filmed - Valletta














malta19Below the Upper Barrakka Gardens are the cannons of the Saluting Battery. Across the Grand Harbour from the gardens is Senglea, one of the Three Cities (the others being Vittoriosa and Cospicua) - Valletta



malta22At the tip of Vittoriosa is Fort St Angelo - from Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valletta














malta25Vittoriosa and a plethora of boats in Dockyard Creek - Valletta















malta29Look further to the right from the Upper Barrakka Gardens and you'll see the floatplane airstrip and Valletta Waterfont - Valletta



malta1The capital gets its name from the Knights' Grand Master at the time of the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, Jean Parisot de la Valette.
Work started on the construction of the fortified capital the following year - Valletta













malta6Valletta only measures about 1km²















malta117St James Cavalier houses art exhibitions, a theatre and cinema; I love the entrance - Valletta



malta32St Paul's Cathedral - Valletta



malta34Some great flags adorn the streets of Valletta in preparation for Notte Bianca















malta36More flags in Valletta















malta41St John's Co-Cathedral dates to the 16th century - Valletta



malta42It has a status of co-cathedral as it was given equal status to St Paul's Cathedral in Mdina - St John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta



malta40Opposite the cathedral is St John's Square with its outdoor restaurant - Valletta














malta48Up for sale in Valletta
















malta49From the top of Triq Zekka the Basilica of our Lady of Mount Carmel dominates - Valletta



malta52Another perfect place to lounge and people watch is Republic Square - Valletta



malta53aThe National Library overlooks Republic Square - Valletta















malta120The Royal Opera House was destroyed in World War II by a German air raid - Valletta














malta123The streets of Valletta



malta100The National War Museum houses Faith, the sole survivor of four Sea Gladiators (three of them were known as Faith, Hope and Charity) used by Malta defending the islands against Italy during World War II - Valletta



malta99Also in the National War Museum is a medal the nation is proud of. Malta is the only country to receive the George Cross, Britain's highest award for bravery, for its heroism during World War II.
The Cross, pictured, is the original; the letter from King George VI dated April 15th 1942 is a copy, the original now kept in Mdina:
'To honour her brave people I award the George Cross to the island fortress of Malta to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history' - Valletta















malta60The main entrance to Valletta is via the City Gate















malta56Go to Hastings Gardens/St Michael's Bastion for a look out to Marsamxett Harbour and Sliema beyond - Valletta



malta5718th century Fort Manoel is situated on Manoel Island in Marsamxett Harbour - Valletta



malta59There's many religious statues dotted around Malta - Valletta


















malta61The 16th century Church of St Paul's Shipwreck - Valletta














Two notable establishments linked to the silver screen are:
- Hotel British (left) where some scenes from Spielberg's Munich were filmed
- The Pub (right) was a favourite of Oliver Reed while filming Gladiator; he was taken ill here and died minutes later - Valletta



malta65Buildings surrounding St George's Square in Valletta



malta70More live music on Notte Bianca, this time at St George's Square - Valletta

My YouTube video of the performance, though unfortunately my camera ran out of memory before I included them in the movie. Great voice!













malta68The 16th century Grand Master's Palace is on St George's Square in Valletta















malta74The Grand Master's Palace was home to the Grand Masters of the Knights of St John but is now the President's residence - Valletta



malta75More Notte Bianca performances - Valletta



malta77The Notte Bianca crowds.
Valletta is nowhere near as lively and packed as this normally! It's pretty quiet, with the life usually further afield at Sliema and Paceville.














malta79The Grand Harbour and Three Cities lie beyond Valletta















malta78Check out St Publius Church in Floriana from St John's Bastion in Valletta



malta81Fort Rinella lies just beyond the Three Cities















malta83Next to Fort Rinella are the Mediterranean Film Studios, famous for the two biggest filming water tanks in Europe














malta91Vittoriosa, one of the Three Cities, lies across the Grand Harbour from Valletta



malta84Church of St Lawrence - Vittoriosa



malta87Dockyard Creek forms Vittoriosa's waterfront, with Senglea on the right















malta88Fort St Angelo was reinforced by the Knights in the 16th century.
Valletta lies in the background - Vittoriosa














malta90One of the smaller boats at Dockyard Creek - Vittoriosa



malta93The quiet backstreets of Vittoriosa



malta94aAcross the water from Vittoriosa is Senglea, also one of the Three Cities















malta95Senglea and a few cheap (?) boats as seen from Vittoriosa















malta97Wander across to Senglea and get a view of Vittoriosa



malta96Waiting for supper at Senglea waterfront



malta98aDockyard Creek and the Vittoriosa waterfront, from Senglea. At the front is a traditional boat called a dghajsa.














malta98A view of Valletta and Dockyard Creek from Senglea















malta98dA close up of Valletta - including Upper Barrakka Gardens - from Senglea's watchtower



malta98eLower Barrakka Gardens and the Siege Bell Memorial at Valletta



malta130If you're passing through Mosta take time out to see the 19th century Parish Church of Santa Maria, aka the Mosta Dome














malta131I noticed lots of plantpots in the narrow streets of Malta - Mosta















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