UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malta

This article first appeared in My Travelogue by Bhushavali

Malta is a tiny little country that's half the size of Singapore, but it has 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in it! But as I mentioned in the last post about Belgian sites, here too the 3 are scattered across 9 places! When I was in Malta, I managed to visit 4 of these 9 places. Anyways technically, I'VE BEEN TO ALL 3 UNESCO SITES OF MALTA.




1. City of VallettaLike other whole cities listed under UNESCO like Historic City of Ahmedabad in India, Old & New towns of Edinburgh in ScotlandHistoric City centre of Brugge in Belgium, here to the whole City of Valletta is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was found in 1566 and built with the best of Renaissance style with a grid plan and fortress! Complete with St.John's Co-Cathedral, The Malta Experience, Knight's Hospitallers, National Archaeological Museum and more, it requires an entire day to just walk-around & experience the city.

Pic Courtesy: viewingmalta.com (used with permission)

2. Hal Safleni Hypogeum: The most challenging site to visit, to get a ticket! Only 80 people are allowed in per day, so the online tickets get sold out like 2-3 months in advance! I was lucky enough to get the chance to enter this 'hypogeum', which literally means 'underground chamber'! This was occupied by humans 5000 years ago. I mean - Malta is a tiny little island located atleast 100km from the nearest mainland (Italy) and it has been in occupation since much earlier and this particular site - Hal Safleni Hypogeum was used a burial site since 3300 BCE!! Do you realize??? - our forefathers were ocean voyagers since thaaaaaaat long ago!!! Its all protected intact with frescoes & sculptures, till-date for us to see. Just book the ticket, the minute after you book your flights to Malta. 


3. Megalithic Temples of Malta (7 places): This is spread across 7 places - 5 in main island of Malta and 2 in Ggantija, Gozo. Infact, 1 is located very close to Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, called Tarxien, but unfortunately I didn't get to visit it! 2 are located close to each other, near Blue Grotto and we did visit them - Mnajdra and Ħaġar Qim. These are actual places of worship built between 4000-3000 BCE. They are few of the earliest ever free-standing buildings worldwide! Complete with life-sized to minature human sculptures and elaborate decorational reliefs and engravings, set in perfect geographic location with streamlined floor-plan, its unbelievable that they were made it 6000yrs ago!
In the tentative list are the Knights' & Victoria Lines Fortification walls, M'dina, Catacombs (like the one in Rabat), Coastal Cliffs and a couple more!

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

16 comments:

  1. Malta is an Island with rich in history and architechtural splendor. Still on my list ugh!..hopefully i can visit next year.

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  2. I would definitely be very interested in visiting Malta. 3 World Heritage sites for such a small country it's really impressive. The Megalithic Temples of Malta sound quite interesting, but I think I would have more fun visiting the City of Valletta.

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  3. I didn't know that Malta is as small like Singapore! I would love to visit this place, and I have friends who moved to Malta for work (all working from KPMG). Adding these UNESCO Heritage sites will be a great experience and additional learning!

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  4. I had always associated Malta with sea and sand. It is good to know about the UNESCO World Heritage Sites there. Hypogeum sounds like an interesting place. It feels surreal to know that the place existed almost 5000 years ago. Thanks for the tips for early booking.

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  5. I always just though Malta is just about beaches but didn't know it has UNESCO World Heritage sites too!! I have been to Ahmedabad and visited its old city; so Valletta could feel you the same.From all this Hypogeum seems quite interesting and its history just fascinated me! Thank you for sharing such hidden gems which may traveler's don't know about it.

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  6. We are so sorry we had to cancel Malta for this travel year. This post is a good reminder of why we wanted to go. There seems to be so much to see in Valletta. And such a mix of architecture. I can see it is deemed to be a UNESCO site. Thanks for the note about needing to get a ticket in advance to visit Hal Safleni Hypogeum. And to understand that we need to visit 7 different places for the Megalithic Temples. We will put Malta back on the plans when we are travelling again.

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  7. Wow this looks like such an amazing trip. I will definitely be looking to visit once the bans have been lifted! i love historical holidays so this really appeals to me! thanks for shairng

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  8. I loved Malta's historic sites with wonderful nature. I thought Malta must be very big and never thought it smaller than Singapore. Good to know the city of Valletta is listed as a whole city under UNESCO's whole historic city. Hal Safleni Hypogeum looks interesting as it is underground and was inhabitated 5000 years ago. Very strange that our fore fathers were voyagers. And it is good you tipped us that only 80 people are allowed in a day to see this.

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  9. I have never been to Malta, but the more I hear about it, the more I want to go. It sounds like such a beautiful place with a really rich history and culture. I would especially love to see Valletta, because I love strolling through old European cities.

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  10. I have been dying to go to Malta. It looks like a fascinating place to go and with three UNESCO World Heritage, it's definitely a place I'll love to see especially Hal Safleni Hypogeum Burial site. It looks like it holds a lot of history.

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  11. Malta was never on my list and I didn't think they have a Unesco Heritage Site! These sites have a little bit of Roman feel to it and I can imagine there are more sites and fortresses in Malta even if they are not part of the UNHS. Will get to Malta someday but for now, I'll pin this post! Xx

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  12. Malta seems to be a lovely place and these UNESCO heritage sites will be exciting to explore. It is a good thing that Hal Safleni Hypogeum only allows 80 people in a day IMO. Megalithic Temples of Malta was also an interesting read.

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  13. Emirates had a direct flight from Cyprus and I was always thinking about it. Now, with the Covid-19, it'll have to wait though. It does look stunning.

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  14. The cultural history of Malta is absolutely intriguing and reading about the places in this small country just raises your curiosity. Besides having some stunning natural landscapes, Malta has such a deep rooted connection to the ancient civilizations. It was so interesting to read about the UNESCO heritage sites in Malta.

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  15. Great description of all 3 sites. I have managed to visit only 2 sadly. Had a weekend and wanted to visit as much as possible. It is surprising that such a small country has so many UNESCO heritage sites.

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  16. Oh wow, I didn't realize Malta was so small! That is a lot of heritage sites for its size! Love the ancient finds and the history behind them!

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