MALTA (3)


VALLETTA (PART II)

Let’s take a last stroll through Valletta before we move on to the rest of this beautiful island …

Republic Square in Valletta – Queen Victoria sitting down and wearing a shawl of Maltese lace

On numerous days, while visiting Valletta, we could see the enormous cruise ships that were docking in the Grand Harbour of Valletta. Passengers always had a steep climb of about 20 minutes to the center of the city, but an elevator had been built in the meantime which enable passengers an easy ride up to the old town.

It’s not unusual to see big cruise ships in the Grand Harbour – this time it was the Navigator of the Sea that visited Valletta
Every street holds fascination – this time, a photo higher up of the narrow streets
A policeman in Valletta

One symbol that is very familiar in Malta (probably worldwide), is the Maltese cross. This cross is most commonly associated with the Knights of Malta who ruled the Maltese islands between 1530 – 1798. We’ve seen the Maltese cross on street names, buildings, jewellery and even on their Euro coins.

The well-known symbol of the Maltese cross on a door

As mentioned in our previous post, there are many monuments in Valletta – actually, on almost every corner of Valletta there is some kind of statue or monument. Here are just a few …

The Great Siege monument that commemorates the fallen of the Great Siege
Pope Piju V – one of the main benefactors of the construction of Valletta. He also sent his personal architect to Malta, to design the city
Giuseppe Cali was a Maltese painter (born in Valletta). His work will be found in almost every church in Malta

There are many open-air cafés to be found in Valletta, but it was those small restaurants that almost disappeared under ground, that got our attention.

A small restaurant in Valletta – look at those thick walls

Palace of the Grand Masters:

By Maltese standards, the Palace of the Grand Masters is an enormous building. Only a small part of it is open to the public, as the rest belongs to the parliament.

A palace guard in front of the Grand Masters Palace

We’ve entered the Palace through the corridor that was leading to what was formerly the Armoury – a fascinating reminder of the period when the Knights of Malta lead the battlefields.

The corridor inside the Palace

The British connection are well-represented in the State Dining Room by several royal portraits, like King George IV and Queen Elizabeth II.

State Dining Room
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II
The Ambassador’s Room, also known as the Red Room

The palace encloses two greenery-adorned courtyards. The larger of the two is called the Neptune Court (with its bronze statue of Neptune), while the smaller one is named Prince Alfred Court.

The Palace Armoury:

One of the world’s most significant and impressive permanent exhibitions of pre-18th century weaponry and armour is found in two halls within the palace precincts.

Time to visit the Palace Armoury

There are extensive exhibits of historic suits of armour – the fine collection of weaponry and armour may round up to 6000 pieces. Here are just a few photo’s we’ve taken inside the Palace Armoury:

A final view of Neptune Court

A traditional Maltese evening:

On one of our several visits to Valletta, we’ve noticed a guy in Republic Street playing his mandolin and singing beautiful Maltese songs. While we bought one of Benny Grima’s CD’s, we were invited to attend a typical Maltese Folklore evening … with folklore music and traditional Maltese food – of course we’ve accepted.

The event took place at the Limestone Heritage, Park & Gardens
The disused quarry has been transformed into this beautiful place and is the ideal setting for Maltese Folklore evenings

We were fortunate to have a table right in front of the stage and it was great listening to Benny and his wife Tonia singing all the beautiful Maltese songs and enjoying the folklore dances.

Maltese Folklore dancers
While performing the Farmer’s Dance, the beloved donkey of these evenings took centre stage!

While the performers were on stage, we had one of the best plates of Maltese food we’ve ever tasted! Stone-baked Maltese bread, olives, cheese and of course pastizzi to just name a few.

A typical Maltese cuisine – Mediterranean yumminess

We’ve shared our table with Maltese people – some emigrated to Australia, but were on a visit to family in Malta. They’ve made an effort to welcome us in their midst and happily explained their tradition, like their language, food and music.

What an absolute enjoyable evening with the people of Malta

For now, it’s goodbye to Valletta!

This the last of our Valletta posts, but in the next one about our Malta visits, we will show you the beautiful Three Cities … make sure not to miss it!

We have done these trips in 2011 & 2013

Categories: Adventures, Malta (2011 & 2013)

26 comments

  1. Wow the palace and palace armory looks incredible…. I love the idea of enjoying the cultural side of people too.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Those restaurant walls are incredible!!! Your posts are making me want to go back! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I love your photo down the street from higher up, that gives a really different view.
    And that Mediterranean Yumminess…!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’ve not been inside the armoury and palace so it was interesting to read about them in your post. Loved the restaurant down in the cellar too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. More beauty, Corna, thanks for sharing! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You are so fortunate to be able to see all these beautiful places. Thank you for taking us along with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great idea to use a disused quarry in that way! The palace looks beautiful too, although I’m not so interested in armour. Give me those wonderful old street signs any day!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What beautiful architecture and cute streets. I love the restaurant! Thanks for the tour 🙂 Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a great post. Malta is on our radar once we are based in Spain. Great info!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love those underground restaurants! It almost as if you’re part of a secret! Also that policeman seems to friendly and relaxed😅

    Liked by 1 person

  11. We were there a couple of years ago. Very historic and beautiful country ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I haven’t been to Malta but it looks gorgeous and the food looks delicious.
    Not sure about that huge cruise ship though…happy to hear they’ve been stopped in Venice. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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