Up to 30% discount on entrance to certain museums and sites
The Maltese Islands have a rich and fascinating cultural history spanning some 7,000 years. This legacy, unique in the Mediterranean, is reflected in the country’s national collections.
From the Phoenicians and the Romans to the Knights of St John and the British, many cultures have made Malta their safe harbour, home, fortress or trading place. Lying at the near geographical centre of the Mediterranean, it is not surprising that the Islands acted as a magnet to so many settlers. Malta’s natural, deep harbours and position on major shipping routes made this small archipelago an attractive proposition from earliest times.
A result of this continuous settlement is a wealth of artefacts and architecture from the greater part of these periods in the Islands’ history. Malta’s national collections are a voyage of discovery of man and his environment from his earliest settlement here in caves some 7,400 years ago to his present-day cultural ideas articulated in modern art.
The museums are also worth visiting as buildings in their own right. Many of our collections are housed in magnificent, baroque palaces built by the Knights of the Order or St John. The National Museum of Archaeology is in the Auberge de Provence, an inn of residence of one of the eight ‘langues’ of the Knights. Its richly-painted, upper salon is an architectural gem. The National Museum of Fine Arts is housed in an exuberant Rococo building dating from the 1570s but which later served the British fleet in the Mediterranean.
From imposing palaces to domestic dwellings, Malta’s national museums offer an insight into the life and times of the Islanders, from the rulers to the ruled. The Folklore Museum in Gozo not only documents the rural trades but is also among the best-preserved medieval, domestic dwellings on the Islands. Ta’ Kola Windmill, still in working condition, is a step back in time to the work of the miller and bears witness to a thriving rural economy.
As you would expect of a maritime nation, we have plenty of memorabilia charting our seafaring past. The Malta Maritime Museum and the National War Museum relate the stories and document the facts.
From man to fauna and flora, our collections chart the Islands. Visit our natural history museums and you will discover a diversity of plants, insects and small mammals that are still found on the Islands, as well as strange remains of species long extinct.