City of Valletta

Valletta Skyline (Briangotts/Wikipedia, Public domain).

Island of Malta
N35 54 2.016 E14 30 51.984
Date of Inscription: 1980
Criteria: (i)(vi)
Property : 55.5 ha
Ref: 131

City wall, Valletta fortification (Myriam Thyes/Wikimedia, Public domain).

Malta’s capital Valletta is a fortified city located on a hilly peninsula between two of the finest natural harbours in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta in 1565 captured the European imagination and mobilised the resources needed to create the new city of Valletta, founded soon after, in 1566. The Knights of St John, aided by the most respected European military engineers of the 16th century, conceived and planned the city as a single, holistic creation of the late Renaissance, with a uniform grid plan within fortified and bastioned city walls. Since its creation, the city has witnessed a number of rebuilding projects, yet those have not compromised the harmony between the dramatic topography and the Hippodamian grid. The fabric of the city includes a compact ensemble of 320 monuments that encapsulate every aspect of the civil, religious, artistic and military functions of its illustrious founders. These include the 16th century buildings relating to the founding of the Renaissance city, such as the cathedral of St John, the Palace of the Grand Master, the Auberge de Castile et Léon, the Auberge de Provence, the Auberge d’Italie, the Auberge d’Aragon and the Infirmary of the Order and the churches of Our Lady of Victory, St Catherine and il Gesù, as well as the improvements attributed to the military engineers and architects of the 18th century such as the Auberge de Bavière, the Church of the Shipwreck of St Paul, the Library and the Manoel Theatre.

Criterion (i): The city is pre-eminently an ideal creation of the late Renaissance with its uniform urban plan, inspired by neo-platonic principles, its fortified and bastioned walls modelled around the natural site and the voluntary implantation of great monuments in well-chosen locations.

Criterion (vi): The city is irrevocably affiliated with the history of the military and charitable Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, which founded the city in 1566 and maintained it throughout two and a half centuries. Valletta is thus associated with the history of one of the greatest military and moral forces of modern Europe.

Suggested base:

Birkirkara (abbreviated B’Kara) is a town in the central region of Malta. It is the most populous on the island, with 22,247 inhabitants as of March 2014. The city consists of four autonomous parishes: Saint Helen, Saint Joseph, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Mary. The city’s motto is In hoc signo vinces, and its coat of arms is a plain red cross, surmounted by a crown. There are many places of interest in Birkirkara, amongst them the Old Railway Station which is today located within a public garden. Trains were used as means of transportation across the island until the Railway’s closure happened in 1931. Other town features include the Wignacourt Aqueduct built in the 17th Century, and St Helen’s Basilica, housing Malta’s largest church bell. Birkirkara is one of Malta’s oldest towns. [read more]

Saint Paul’s Bay (Maltese: San Pawl il-Baħar, Italian: Baia di San Paolo) is a town in the Northern Region of Malta, sixteen kilometres (9.9 miles) northwest of the capital Valletta. Saint Paul’s Bay is the largest town in the Northern Region and the seat of the Northern Regional Committee. Its name refers to the shipwreck of Saint Paul as documented in the Acts of the Apostles on St. Paul’s Islands near St Paul’s Bay, on his voyage from Caesarea to Rome, which laid the foundations of Christianity on the island. Burmarrad, Wardija, Qawra, Buġibba, Xemxija, and San Martin, as well as part of Bidnija and Mistra, form part of St. Paul’s Bay Local Council. The area of the locality is 14.47 km2 (6 sq mi). The population in 2014 was 21,046. [read more]

Mosta is a city in the center of Malta. It is the 3rd largest city in terms of population in the Maltese Archipelago. Mosta is generally easy to get to from Valletta, buses 41, 42, 44 and 45 all lead to Mosta Square. Parking in the main street next to the “Pjazza” (Mosta Square) is tricky, especially in the after noon. It is generally advised to park in some of the side streets as there are usually more parking spaces there. Next to the “Rotunda” there is also free parking. Ir-Rotunda is a beautiful church in the center of Mosta, it is one of the largest buildings in Malta, and one of the largest domes in all of Europe. [read more]



One Reply to “City of Valletta”

  1. The streets are full of life with live music and street performers giving a wonderful atmosphere whether you are walking the cobbled streets appreciating the architecture or sitting at one of the many restaurants the city has to offer.


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