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Architecture in Malta
18 Nov 2019
Malta has a very particular sense of architecture. Maltese history is one written by many rules and conquerors, all from different empires and different parts of the world. Hence Maltese culture is very diverse and mixed. To give an example of this, in the past 300 years Malta was ruled by the Knights Hospitalier, by the French followed by England. Before that, we had the Ottoman occupation which left a massive impact on our language. Besides language, the impact has been felt throughout Maltese culture, architecture is a massive part of this aspect.
Malta Architecture Design
In Malta you can easily see different styles of architecture, Mdina is a clear example of this, the Ottomans built Mdina and as you step inside it you can clearly feel that you have stepped into a medieval city. The Messina earthquake destroyed a lot of Mdina’s pre-Baroque houses, so things buildings had to be rebuilt. Still, there are features of Norman architecture survived a lot of grand houses. Mdina is seen from most points in Malta, as it is built on top of a valley and is a must-see if you visit the islands.
Valletta, built by the Knights is also another amazing feat of architectural brilliance. This is a turning point for Maltese architecture because for the first time in its history European style buildings were being introduced on a large scale. Italian engineers and architects are responsible for what Valletta is today. Seeing the fortifications is a truly unique experience. If you visit the Upper Barrakka, you will be able to see a lot of Malta’s fortifications, Birgu, Isla, St Elmo are all visible.
Military might defence was one of the main concerns for the Knights. After the victory of the great siege, the Grand Master La Valette was concerned about another attack and began works for another fortified city. Grateful European allies put a lot of money into Malta, as they also saw it as a frontline, a main trade route and a great naval base. Therefore if it was secured under European countries, Europe would have a great asset.
The English brought with them classicism. Creating beautiful structures like schools, hospitals and building new towns. The Royal Opera house is one impressive architectural beauty. Unfortunately, it has been destroyed during World War two, but it is still used as an open-air theatre. Remakes of the theatre show how truly grand and magnificent it once was.
Furthermore, discussing architecture in Malta, one should not fail to mention the Neolithic temples. These temples are one of the oldest free-standing structures in the world. Make sure to visit these temples and by enamoured by how beautiful and magnificent temples are.
In conclusion, as you can see, Malta has passed through a lot of trials and tribulations, but the fruit from this journey is an interesting and vast culture which they are enjoying now. From the food to the language and architecture, Malta and the Maltese have seen it all. If you are looking to stay in this beautiful country make sure to visit our hotels in Malta, for the perfect stay.
Comments on this guide to Architecture in Malta article are welcome.
Malta Architecture Designs
Maltese Architecture Designs – chronological list
Malta Agritourism Project, Dingli
Design: Archi+ Studio + Steve’s and Co
image Courtesy architecture office
Diar il-Bniet Restaurant
TreeHouse – A Residential Adaptive Reuse Project, Bahar IC-Caghak, L/O Naxxar
Design: Galea&Galea Architects
photograph : Homeworks Malta
Hanging Home, Naxxar
Design: Chris Briffa Architects
photo : David Pisani
House in Naxxar
Comments / photos for the Architecture in Malta page welcome