7 Fascinating Facts About Valletta
25th June, 2019
From its gorgeous Baroque architecture and incredible palaces to the recently-renovated entrance and parliament, along with its plethora of chic bars and cafés, Valletta is a truly remarkable city that’s full of life. We’ve compiled a few facts about Malta’s capital to highlight how much it has to offer!
1. It was the first planned city in Europe
Built in the 16th century, Valletta was one of the first European cities to be constructed on an entirely new site, expertly designed by the Knights of St John during their reign in Malta.
2. It’s one of the nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malta
Steeped in history, Valletta has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980.
3. Valletta ranks as the smallest capital city in the European Union
Petite though it may be in comparison to its EU counterparts, the city is a historical treasure trove which boasts no less than 320 monuments, all housed within walking distance of each other. It’s very much like an open-air museum. Some top sights and landmarks include St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Lascaris War Rooms, Valletta Waterfront, the Barrakka Gardens, the Manoel Theatre and the National Museum of Archaeology.
4. It looks great on the silver screen
Malta has been a popular filming spot since 1925, having successfully adopted a variety of guises from Ancient Rome and the modern-day Middle East. And the capital certainly doesn’t shy away from the cameras either, with a number of Hollywood films - namely World War Z, Munich and Assassin’s Creed - having been shot there. And with its photogenic good looks, it should come as no surprise; if Valletta is breathtaking in person, it certainly sparkles on-screen!
5. Valletta has worn the title of European Capital of Culture
Further adding to its prestige, Valletta hosted the title of European Capital of Culture in 2018 - an initiative set up in 1983 with the intention of raising awareness of the common values shared by the people, while also highlighting the rich diversity of different European countries. The celebration, which lasted the whole year, saw a busy programme that involved hundreds of all sorts of local and international artists, performers, writers, designers, and film-makers.
6. What’s in a name?
Valletta bears the name of its founder, the French Grand Master Knight Jean Parisot de Valette, who died before the city’s construction was completed.
7. Better late than never...
Valletta is actually the third Maltese city to have become a capital! The first was the fortified town of Mdina, followed by Vittoriosa (Birgu), which lies opposite today’s capital.
Taste Great Food and History at The Highest Restaurant in Valletta
Forming part of the historic Hotel Castille and being the highest restaurant in Valletta, De Robertis offers its diners the chance to combine a tasty meal from a fusion of Mediterranean and local cuisine, while soaking up the history, architecture and views of the UNESCO World Heritage capital.
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