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.
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
to little local stores.
From an abandoned fort
to a beautiful harbour.
From magnificent churches,
and sumptuous palaces
to ordinary houses.
From the art of Mattia Preti
to the sculptures of Sciortino.
From the wacky
to the sublime…
… 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.