Malta is the largest of the three islands that constitute the Malta archipelago which is situated 80 kilometres south of Italy, 284 kilometres east of Tunisia, and 333 kilometres north of Libya. The Islands are enviably located in the passageway between Africa and Europe.
Most of the Maltese people are Bilingual (English and Maltese), occasionally trilingual or more, French and Italian being a common language. The Maltese language is an interesting mixture of Arabic, Italian, and English and it’s the only sematic language written in Latin letters. The history of Malta dates back to 5200 B.C. when the first inhabitants came to settle in Malta from Sicily. The temples of Hagar Qim, Mnajdra, Skorba, Ta’ Hagrat, Tarxien and another two located at Ggantija in Gozo, were all build between 3200 B.C. and 700 B.C. Each one of these Temples is a World Heritage site and consists of a unique architectural masterpiece showing the prehistoric culture of those periods.
The Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Byzantine, the Arabs, the Normans, and many others ruled Malta until the year 1530, when the Roman Emperor, King Charles V of Spain, gave the ‘Order of St. John’, the island of Malta for a falcon as an annual fee. The Knights were noblemen from the most important families of Europe, with a mission to protect the Catholic faith
Napoleon Bonaparte took over Malta from the Knights in 1798, were he ruled Malta until the British came in 1799 and later, Malta became part of the British Crown Colony. Malta got the Independence in 1964 and became a Republic in 1979.
Malta has joined the European Union on the 1st May 2004, after a referendum held in March 2003. It is one of the smallest country in Europe with a population estimated at 450,000 people (year 2018) spread over the area of only 316 square kilometres