20 Fascinating Facts About Malta

In 1798, Napoleon seized Malta from the Knights while en route to Egypt.

When I think of Malta, I envision basking in the sun, enjoying ice cream on St. Paul’s Bay, and observing ships on the Mediterranean.

Malta has something for everyone, and below are 20 surprising facts about this gorgeous island!

There are 365 churches in Malta, one for each day of the year!

On May 1, 2004, Malta became a member of the EU.

Malta has its own language, but most of the population is also fluent in English.

Malta is situated approximately 179 miles (288 km) north of Africa and about 58 miles (93 km) south of Sicily.

The population is 400,000, and the three islands–Malta, Gozo, and Comino–together comprise only 122 sq. miles (316 sq. km).

In 60 A.D., Paul was shipwrecked on the island while en route to Rome to spread Christianity to Malta.

In March 2011, Chiswick High School hosted the largest gathering of people dressed as storybook characters, with 453 participants. However, in 2014, this record was broken in Singapore, with 1,560 people.

While en route to Egypt, Napoleon took over Malta in 1798 from the Knights.

Malta gained independence from Britain in 1964.

Kinnie, Malta’s own version of Marmite, is a bitter-orange-and-herb-flavored soft drink that has been popular since 1952. Personally, I don’t care for it!

Malta boasts a variety of endemic Maltese wildlife, including Maltese Ruby Tiger Moth, Schembri’s Spider Fly, and Maltese Field Beetle.

Local favorite desserts include cannolis (fried pastry filled with ricotta) and Helwa tat-Tork (a sweet blend of whole and broken almonds).

A number of famous faces were born on this beautiful island, such as 24 producer Jon Cassar, RED 2’s Emma Heming, and Game of Thrones heartthrob Andrei Claude.

A submerged land bridge that was 330 feet deep once connected Malta to Sicily.

Although Malta used to belong to Britain, it became an independent country in 1964.

Valetta, Malta’s capital, is often known as the first planned European city, having been sketched in 1565 during the order of St. John.

There is evidence, including 11 Megalithic monuments, suggesting that people have inhabited the island since around 5000BC.

In 1983, Malta suffered its largest footballing defeat, losing 12-1 to Spain in a game that many believe was fixed to allow Spain to advance in the 1984 Euros.

As of November 2016, Malta ranks 156th in the Olympic ranking. In the 2016 Olympics, Malta had 7 participants but zero medals.

The largest Catherine wheel ever built was erected by Lily Fireworks Factory on June 18, 2011, in Mqabba, Malta, and had a diameter of just over 105 ft (32 meters).

So there you have it–the stunning island has a plethora of mind-boggling trivia to satisfy everyone’s love for facts.

As someone who has visited the island many times, I can attest that there is something captivating about Malta, and I strongly encourage everyone to visit.

Whether you love it or hate it, you cannot deny the island’s ever-impressive historical significance or its breathtaking natural wonders.

FAQ

1. What is the history of Malta?

Malta has a rich and diverse history, having been ruled by various civilizations over the centuries. It was first inhabited around 5900 BC and has since been ruled by the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Knights of St. John, French, and British before gaining independence in 1964.

2. What is the official language of Malta?

The official languages of Malta are Maltese and English. Maltese is a Semitic language and is the only Semitic language written in Latin script. English is widely spoken and is used in official business and education.

3. What is the capital city of Malta?

The capital city of Malta is Valletta. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was built by the Knights of St. John in the 16th century.

4. What is the currency used in Malta?

The currency used in Malta is the euro. It replaced the Maltese lira in 2008 when Malta joined the European Union.

5. What is the weather like in Malta?

Malta has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. The average temperature in summer is around 30°C (86°F) and in winter it is around 15°C (59°F).

6. What is the national dish of Malta?

The national dish of Malta is rabbit stew, which is called “stuffat tal-fenek” in Maltese. It is a traditional dish that is made with rabbit, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and red wine.

7. What are some popular tourist attractions in Malta?

Some popular tourist attractions in Malta include the ancient city of Mdina, the Blue Lagoon in Comino, the megalithic temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra, and the Grand Harbour in Valletta.

8. What is the population of Malta?

The population of Malta is around 514,000 people. It is one of the smallest countries in the world and it has one of the highest population densities in Europe.

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