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    Vatican City
    The smallest country in the world offers the heart of Catholicism and among the world's finest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms (ceiling pictured). Go to Vatican City!

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    Ukrainian culture is based on village life, particularly that found in the Carpathian Mountains (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

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    Latvia is small, but has a diverse history, foods, and architecture (shown), which includes aspects from both Eastern and Western Europe. Begin Your Journey!

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Architecture of Malta

Maltese Architecture - Fort St. Angelo
Fort St. Angelo

Some of the earliest still-standing structures in Europe are in Malta in the form of burial chambers and temples. There are seven of these temples in total including two in Ggantija (on Gozo), plus Hagar Qin and Mnajdra (on the island of Malta); all date from about 3000-2500 BC.

Lasting construction on the islands continued millennia later as trade routes across the Mediterranean often times passed through the islands or they were occupied to control that same trade. This led to various constructions, particularly in Valletta, by various groups beginning with the Phoenicians. Most of these early constructions by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, and Romans have since disappeared, although a few of the capital's towers and walls were originally constructed by these groups and the Romans erected Roman Domus, a villa just outside Mdina.

It was the 1500s when architecture truly began to blossom in Valletta. During this time numerous buildings in various styles were built, most prominently in the Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo styles. The Grandmaster's Palace (1571-1574; now Malta's House of Representatives) and the Mediterranean Conference Centre (1574), both in Valletta, are two of the most impressive Renaissance buildings in the country. St. Johns Co-Cathedral (1573-1578) was also built by the powerful Knights of Malta Order in the Baroque style, but with Byzantine influences. The National Museum of Fine Arts (1570s), again in the capital, is in the late Baroque, or Rococo style.

Maltese Architecture - Street in Vittoriosa
Street in Vittoriosa

Most of the architecture built since the golden age in the 1500s has been either destroyed or, more likely, restored in recent times. Perhaps the best example of this is the Valletta Waterfront, which was originally constructed as nineteen different buildings, primarily built in the 1600s. It was recently renovated and these buildings were united to create a present-day construction that is very representative of the country's architectural history.

Today, much of Valletta remains in the simple stone style, however interiors and even exteriors have been remodeled to make the buildings useful for today's demands. Valletta, above all other locations in Malta, is the best representative of the country's architecture and is one of the most densely represented architectural cities in the world.

This page was last updated: March, 2013