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This blog is dedicated to Malta - my island home. My aim is not to bore you with history but to share my thoughts and a few facts together with a photo or two. For a more in -depth background of the island please go here. The purpose of this blog is not to point out the short-comings of the island. There are plenty that do that already. My wish is to show you the beauty of an island at the cross roads of the Mediterranean, a melting pot of history; a place where fact and fiction are sometimes fused to create unique myths and legends; a country that has been conquered so many times that our culture is a mish mesh of the lands that surround us and of lands far away. I confess that my greatest desire is to make you fall in love with this tiny enchanting island.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Valletta – European Capital Of Culture 2018

Hot on the heels of my last post about Valletta comes this one. I usually try to space out my posts when they are about the same subject, but the announcement last week that Valletta has been voted the European Capital of Culture for 2018, is a prestigious honour for our tiny capital city and I could not just pass it by as if nothing had happened.

Valletta (17)

The foundation stone of Valletta was laid in March 1566, at the church dedicated to Our Lady of Victory, by Grand Master La Vallette. The city was subsequently beautified over two centuries by various other Grand Masters, Knights of the Order of St John and by the Maltese nobility. Described by Benjamin Disraeli as a city “built by gentlemen, for gentlemen”, Valletta is a city of many facets. It is the smallest capital city in the European  Union but its 0.8 square km are packed with an almost dizzying array of palaces, churches, auberges and houses, interspersed with piazzas and gardens.  The city’s fortifications are a marvel of military engineering and its harbour is, in my biased opinion, one of the most beautiful in the world. I could include a thousand pictures of Valletta in this post and I would just be showing you a mere glimpse  of what it has to offer. Admittedly, a lot of work will need to be done between now and 2018. Rehabilitation, renovation and regeneration of different parts and aspects of Valletta will need to be undertaken. Much has been done in this respect  in the last 5-10 years but there are still some areas that are crying out for attention. However, I am positive, that by 2018, Valletta will once again take its place with pride amongst the much greater and more well-known cities of Europe.

I hope that its nomination as the European Capital of Culture 2018 will mean that more people will get to know, and explore, Valletta because I believe that its appeal lies in the fact that it has something for everyone.

From international brands

Valletta on a Sunday (2)

to little local stores.

Valletta on a Sunday (28)

From an abandoned fort

Valletta 033

to a beautiful harbour.

Barracca and Patches (15)

From magnificent churches,

Valletta on a Sunday (3)

and sumptuous palaces

Valletta (5)

to ordinary houses.

Valletta 123

From the art of Mattia Preti

Museum of Fine Arts (19)

to the sculptures of Sciortino.

Museum of Fine Arts (45)

From the wacky

New Year's Eve in Valletta (20)-001

 

to the sublime…

Notte Bianca 033

… and so much more.Valletta never ceases to amaze me. Not because of the things I have seen, but because of the ones that, to this day, I continue to discover on each visit.

6 comments:

  1. How wonderful and well-deserved! Congratulations to Valletta for being voted European Capital of Culture for 2018!

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  2. Loree, I have been convinced of its splendor and beauty for as long as I have been reading your blog. I deduced long ago that Valletta had more history and culture per square meter than most any place else in the world. Your photos are wonderful and I will never get enough of your home island and the discoveries you bring us.

    Bises,
    Genie

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  3. I'm sure they will, though they should already know... And I hope that Europe still exists come 2018...

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  4. That British Confectionery looks like my cup of sweet tea, Loree. Is that you reflected in the window? :)

    I love Genie's comment. It really sums up how I feel, too.

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  5. We stopped for a day in Valetta during our cruise (in 2003) I guess through the mediteranian sea. I thought I have to come back because it is such a beautiful town ! Mr. G. had been interviewed by the mayor for his elections he was in the evening news as a tourist, lol !

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  6. So much beauty and variety. I certainly wouldn't mind living in one of those "ordinary houses."

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