As I was born in Malta it is obvious and stands to reason that Valletta is my favourite Capital City in the World. We, the Maltese call it “Il-Belt” (the City).
Valletta was built during the order of Saint John known as Knights Hospitaller. The foundation stone of Valletta was laid by the Grandmaster of the Order, Jean Parisot de la Valette hence the name, on the 28 March 1566.
The architectural soul of the City is Baroque in character, with elements of Neo -Classical , Mannerist and Modern architecture in some areas.
Many palaces and churches adorn the City and history abounds in all streets and corners one sees. This strip of land has two natural harbours, the Grand Harbour and Marsamxett where The Grand Harbour is Malta’s major port.
Valletta’s main church is St. John’s Co-Cathedral which was built between 1573 and 1578. This church is considered as a fine example of Baroque architecture in Malta as well in Europe. The interior is extremely ornate and decorated which is in contrast with the facade. The architect of the church was the Maltese, Glormu Cassar and the interior was mainly decorated by the Calabrian, Mattia Preti.
The official recognition of Valletta as a World Heritage Site happened in 1980 by UNESCO. In October 2012 Valletta was unanimously named European Capital of Culture for 2018. The historical City has a population of around 7000 inhabitants.
‘A city built by gentlemen for gentlemen’ – Benjamin Disraeli