56 Interesting Facts About Malta

Last updated on February 12th, 2022

Malta, officially the Republic of Malta, is an island country in Southern Europe. Here are 56 interesting facts about Malta that will help you discover more about this beautiful archipelago, which is also known as the “Heart of the Mediterranean.”

Facts about Malta’s history

1. The name of the island nation is supposedly derived from a Greek word meaning “honey.” The island has an endemic species of bee, which produces a unique type of honey for which the island is very well known.

2. ‘Ghar-Dalam,’ the “cave of darkness,” is considered to be the earliest inhabited cave in Malta. The remains in the cave from that time provide an insight into the people who lived in them thousands of years ago.

View of Valletta, the capital of Malta.
View of Valletta, the capital of Malta.

3. There are no records in Maltese history for the period between AD 395 and AD 535.

4. Arabs ruled over Malta for no less than two centuries. The legacy of their rule can be seen in the Maltese language that has many Arabic elements.

Flag of Malta

Flag of Malta
The flag of Malta. Image source – CIA

5. Did you know that the Muslim population in Malta in 1249 was decreed by the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II, to be expelled from the country or to be converted to Christians? That’s a sad thing for the Muslims living in the territory at the time.

6. For the country’s bravery in the Second World War, Malta was awarded the George Cross by King George VI of the United Kingdom.

7. Malta is also home to some of the oldest free-standing structures of the world – the seven Megalithic Temples. The country is believed to have been inhabited since the early Neolithic period of 5000 BC.

Geographical Location of Malta

8. The country has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the seven Megalithic Temples. The other two are: Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum and Valletta.

9. Malta was a British colony for more than 150 years. During that time, it was used as a submarine base by British forces. The British also launched attacks on the Italian navy from the island. Sadly, Malta was also bombarded by Italian and German air forces.

10. And it was also a part of the Holy Roman Empire for 72 years.

11. Napoleon Bonaparte–a French military and political leader who is often considered one of the greatest commanders in history–also captured Malta on his way to Egypt during the French Revolutionary Wars in 1798.

12. During World War I, Malta was also known as the Nurse of the Mediterranean because a large number of wounded soldiers were accommodated on the island.

Facts about Maltese people, culture, islands, capital city and economy

13. Malta saw the second-highest voter turnout in the world in national lower house elections from 1960 to 1995.

14. Gozo, Comino and Malta are the three islands of Malta in what we collectively reco guise today as Malta.

Mdina city gates. Old fortress. Malta.
Mdina city gates. Old fortress. Malta.

15. The island of Comino is virtually uninhabited.

16. Maltese culture is influenced by the culture of the countries that once ruled it, and by those that are its neighboring Mediterranean countries.

17. Latin European culture is prevalent in modern day Malta.

18. The 8th of September is an important day for Maltese people as they celebrate “Victory day” on this date. The day marks three important dates for Malta: Their Lady’s birth, the end of the Great Siege of 1565 and the day the Italian Navy surrendered to the British during WWII.

19. With more than 200 islands in the Mediterranean, tourists only flock to 10% of these. The rest remain sparsely occupied by tourists. That’s what the travel figures suggest about it.

20. Malta is among the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries.

Streetview of Valletta, Malta.
Streetview of Valletta, Malta.

21. Would you believe that the capital of Malta, Valletta, has a total area of 0.8 square km? It is so tiny that it is the smallest national capital in all of the European countries. And it is also Europe’s first planned city. Now that’s interesting! It took approximately 15 years to build the city this way, which also makes it one of the most rapidly built cities in the world.

22. Food lovers have good reason to visit the country because Malta is also known for its utterly delicious and unique cuisine.

23. If you are a Hollywood movie fan, you may be interested to learn that Malta has also featured in productions from ‘Gladiator’ and ‘Troy’ to ‘Captain Philips’ and TV’s ‘Game of Thrones.’ It is such a nice place to shoot a movie because of its beautiful and quiet coastline.

24. The first film shot in Malta—Sons of the Sea—was filmed there in 1925. Since then, more than 100 films have been partially or fully shot in the country. Remember this is not the first film in the world. It is the first film shot in Malta. Note that the history of films dates back to the 1890s.

25. Malta does not have a property tax. Countries such as Dubai, Monaco, Bahrain and Israel are some of the other countries that also do not levy property taxes.

26. Malta has the fourth-highest car ownership costs in the European Union.

Facts about – public transport, cars, architecture, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malta

27. Prior to 2011, the buses in the country were operated by their self-employed owner drivers. However, since then, buses in the country are operated by a single company – selected through a public tender.

28. Bus tickets in Malta can be purchased with the help of a card that can be loaded online. However, in the initial phase of the introduction of this system, it was not very well received, as reported by local news agencies.

Beautiful architecture illuminated Parliament at evening,Malta.
Beautiful architecture illuminated Parliament at evening,Malta.

29. The country boats some world-class architecture.

30. People in the country drive on the left-hand side of the road. Some other countries where this is the norm include: India, Australia, U.K, Ireland, Cyprus, etc. These countries were once British colonies.

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