At the very heart of the Mediterranean, the Maltese islands boast 7000 years of history in which cultures and languages blended to create a unique tourist attraction. From Megalithic Temples, Phoenician pottery, Punic inscriptions, Roman mosaic floors and thermal baths to Pagan, Jewish and Christian catacombs, Byzantine basilicas, Arab tombstones, toponymy, and the very Maltese language- a kind of Tunisian Arabic spoken in XI c. Sicily -the Maltese islands absorbed various waves of cultural influences, Norman, Swabian, Angevin, Spanish, French, Italian and British.
Yet Malta's name was made famous in modern times by the Order of St.John also known as the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta. For their enduring courage and charitable work, the Knights received from the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Charles V , the Maltese islands, which they ruled from 1530-1798; thus defending Europe and the Christendom against the Ottoman power in the Mediterranean.
Here a ship enters the Grand Harbour at Valletta through The Breakwater, once locked with heavy chains for the Ottoman Turks.
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