World Heritage Sites
The Maltese Islands have three sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. These are the City of Valletta, the Megalithic Temples and the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum.
In all, seven megalithic temples are found on the islands of Malta and Gozo, each the result of an individual development. The two temples of Ggantija on the island of Gozo are notable for their gigantic Bronze Age structures. The Ggantija Temples are the oldest, free-standing monuments in the world and are a testament to the Island's inhabitation for at least 1,000 years before the famous Egyptian pyramids of Giza were constructed.
On the island of Malta, the temples of Hagar Qim, Mnajdra and Tarxien are unique architectural masterpieces, given the limited resources available to their builders. The Ta' Hagrat and Skorba complexes show how the tradition of temple-building was handed down in Malta. These temples were inscribed on the World Heritage List as a group and represent a unique architectural tradition that flourished on the Maltese Islands between 3600 and 2500BC. ]
On the Island of Gozo the Azure Window and the Inland Sea are part of a Natura 2000 protected site.
The Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is a rock-cut underground complex that was used both as a sanctuary as well as for burial purposes by the temple builders. It was discovered during construction works in 1902. The three underground levels date from around 3600 to 2400 B.C. The monument is considered one of the essential prehistoric monuments in the world.
The capital of Malta, Valletta, is inextricably linked to the history of the military and charitable Order of St John of Jerusalem. Built after the Great Siege of 1565 and named after Grandmaster Jean Parisot de la Valette, this fortified city has over 300 monuments, all within an area of 55 hectares, making it one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.
Information courtesy of Visit Malta - Malta Official Tourism site.