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Oct
17

Visiting Malta’s 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Filed Under Malta

malta-valletta-sea

Malta is one of the most fascinating places within the EU. Fifty miles off the coast of Sicily and a member of the EU, it is undoubtedly European, but it is also just two hundred miles from the coast of Libya, making it a stepping stone between Europe and the Middle East. Aside from its steamy climate, the biggest draw for a lot of visitors are the three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Malta.

Valletta

Malta-Valletta

The capital city of Malta is so rich in history that the whole urban area has been safeguarded as a place of historical importance. Amazingly, the city’s buildings and layout has hardly changed since the Knights of St John abandoned the city in 1798, leaving traces and monuments of the previous occupiers, from Greeks to Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and the Knights themselves. The concentration of period buildings in the city is simply staggering.

Hal Saflieni Hypogeum

Hal-Saflieni-Hypogeum

Five thousand years old, the underground hypogeum is one of the world’s best preserved monuments from prehistoric times. It is thought to have been a necropolis (or cemetery) which was only discovered by accident by in 1902. Since then Malta has taken great care of the site, which means limiting the number of people who can visit per day. For one of the best-preserved prehistoric monuments in the world, you should book your ticket well in advance.

Megalithic Temples

Megalithic-temples-malta

There are seven monolithic temples spread across the islands of Malta and Gozo. They date back to around the same prehistoric period as the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, around 3000BC. This makes them the oldest free-standing stone structures in the world – even more ancient than Stonehenge and the Pyramids. The best way to visit them is to go for the oldest ones – on the island of Gozo – first and work your way through time to the youngest, Taxien, in the town of Paola, which is also close to the Hypogeum.

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