The Grand Masters Palace
The Grandmaster’s Palace in the heart of Valletta houses the Office of the President of Malta. It is also a site of great historical value, having been originally built by the Knights of the Order of St. John and expanded and embellished over the centuries.
The Palace itself has impressive state rooms with unique paintings, tapestries and political history of the Maltese islands spanning over 400 years. Its halls are lined with paintings, intricately decorated marble floors and painted ceilings and look very impressive when you wander around the building. The site includes also the Palace Armoury, a series of halls that hold a collection of breathtaking medieval artefacts related to a time of war that shaped the history of the islands and the Mediterranean.
The Mdina walls have three gates: the Mdina Gate, the Greeks Gate and the Gharreqin Gate.The Main Gate, also known as Vilhena gate, was built in 1724, under Grandmaster Antonio Manoel de Vilhena, who in 1722 ordered the renovation and restoration of Mdina. The courtyard behind the main gate was demolished to make way for the Vilhena Palace and a new gate had to be built, a few meters to the left of the old one, which was walled up. The Gate has reliefs of Saint Agatha, Saint Paul and Saint Publius, the three patron saints of Malta.
Hagar Qim is a megalithic temple complex on the island of Malta. This temple complex is said to belong to the Neolithic era, i.e. 3600 – 3200 BC. Although Hagar Qim is one of the main Neolithic temple complexes in Malta, it should be pointed out that it was not the only one in the region. For instance, other temples include Tarxien and Skorba on Malta, and Ggantija and Xewkija on the nearby island of Gozo. Although Hagar Qim was first excavated in 1839, the temple complex itself had never really been completely buried. This is due to the fact that the tallest stones of the temple remained exposed above the ground over the millennia, and are even said to have been featured in 18 th and 19 th century paintings
The most famous of Malta’s cave complexes, the Blue Grotto is a series of nine caves whose rocky sides glow green, purple, and orange according to their mineral content. Surrounding the caves are some of the clearest, brightest cobalt-blue waters imaginable. The natural wonder got its name from British soldiers stationed in Malta in the 1950s who thought the caves were reminiscent of the Blue Grotto off the Italian island of Capri.
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