UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malta
Valletta,the capital of Malta has been placed on the World Heritage List in 1980. The city of Valleta (capital of Malta) has one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world: 320 monuments in 55 ha. Another feature that makes Valletta a unique place is that no important modifications have been made since 1798, when the Knights of St. John left. The city which was build after the great siege in the 16th century was named after the Grand Master de la Valete of the Knights of St. John and became the Maltese capital in 1570. After 1814 the city became a British Mediterranean naval and military base of the first importance; it was subjected to severe bombing raids in World War II and was the place where the Italian fleet surrendered in 1943. One of the most interesting buildings in Valletta is St. John's Co-Cathedral. Valletta has little industry but is the centre of the large transit trade and the local trade of the islands. Since World War II its naval dockyard has been converted for commercial use. The city's artistic treasures and equable climate sustain a considerable tourist trade.
Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is truly a unique site which enjoys an individual listing on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Hypogeum consists of halls, chambers and passages hewn out of the living rock and covering some 500m². The rock-cut chambers are of a diverse shapes and sizes and finished to different standards of workmanship. The complex is grouped in three levels – the upper level (3600-3300 BC), the middle level (3300-3000 BC), and the lower level (3150 -2500 BC). The deepest room in the lower level is 10.6 meters under road surface. The site was discovered accidentally by a stone mason in 1902.
Megalithic Temples of Malta have been designated by the UNESCO to the World Heritage list in 1980. Seven megalithic temples are to be found on the islands of Malta and Gozo, each a result of an individual development. The temples are even older than the Pyramids found in Egypt. The Ggantija complex on the island of Gozo is remarkable for its superhuman achievements. On the island of Malta, the temples of Hagar Qim, Mnajdra and Tarxien are unique architectural masterpieces, given the very limited resources of their builders. The Ta' Hagrat and Skorba complexes bear witness to the development of the temple tradition in Malta.
Malta properties submitted on the Tentative List
In 1998, Malta “suggested” the properties below to be considered world heritage as well. Although we can think they well deserve it, until this date, UNESCO has not inscribed them yet.
- Coastal Cliffs
- Cittadella (Victoria – Gozo)
- Knights’ Fortifications around the Harbours of Malta
- Mdina (Citta’ Vecchia)
- Maltese Catacomb Complexes
- Victoria Lines Fortifications
For more information visit:
Website of UNESCO:http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/mt
Website of Heritage Malta: http://www.heritagemalta.org/home.html