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Malta

Touristic attractions of Malta
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Your vacations in Malta

Malta, officially the Republic of Malta, is a densely populated developed European country in the European Union. The Southern European island nation is an archipelago that includes the inhabited islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino, along with a number of smaller, uninhabited islands. It is situated centrally in the Mediterranean Sea, 93 km south of Sicily (Italy) and 288 km north-east of Tunisia. Gibraltar is 1,826 km to the west and Alexandria 1,510 km to the east.

Malta is just over 300 km² with an estimated population of more than 400,000 people. Malta's capital is Valletta and the biggest city is Birkirkara. The islands enjoy a Mediterranean climate. The country's official languages are Maltese and English, which replaced Italian in 1934. Throughout its history, Malta's location in the Mediterranean Sea has given it a strategic importance. A sequence of powers including the Phoenicians, Romans, Fatimids, Sicilians, Knights of St John, French and British have all ruled the islands. Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 and became a Republic in 1974, whilst retaining membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. It is a member of the United Nations (since 1964) and a member of the European Union (since 2004). Malta is also party to the Schengen Agreement (since 2007) and member of the eurozone (since 2008).

Malta is known for its world heritage sites, most prominently the Megalithic Temples which are the oldest free-standing structures in Europe.

Malta has a long legacy of Roman Catholicism, which continues to be the official and dominant religion in Malta. Malta is an Apostolic See because of an episode claimed in the Acts of the Apostles. According to tradition St. Paul was shipwrecked on the island and ministered there. The Acts and the tradition are the only evidence for St. Paul's visit. Malta is also suggested as a hypothetical location of the mythical lost island of Atlantis.

Official language

Maltese, English

Currency

Euro

Electricity

230 volts, 50 cycles