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A brief History of Malta (in 2 minutes)

Maltese holidays are bound to be enhanced the country's history which is rich and varied, with a handful of recorded sieges and colonialism. Today we’ll be going over almost a millennium worth of history in a matter of minutes. But before we being, we'd like to share with your this 6 minute video of the history of Malta by the eclectic LindyBeige.

870 A.D. - The Arabs Conquer Malta

Although very little visible influence is left in Malta, they have left one mark which is very very pronounced. Specifically, in the way we speak - the Maltese language is heavily influenced by Arabic, numbers, grammar and a large part of the vocabulary is semitic. Maltese though features a very unique trait, it's the only semitic-based language which is written in the Roman alphabet!

Another influence of the Arabs in Malta, is on the names of the older towns, which are nearly all Arabic names.


The first known documentation of Malta having a distinct language dates back to 1436 - when the language was known as lingua maltensi. Before this time, in the 800s, the Maltese spoke Arabic Maltese due to the colonialism from the Aghlabid Arabs. The language progressively evolved into its own mother tongue. 


The knights came to Malta and eventually colonised it in 1530 leading to major changes to the Maltese islands. For starters, the Knights made Italian the official language of Malta. The marine cities were fortified and the Maltese islands were made into a militant force. Soon after the siege, Jean Parisot de Valette; the Grand Master at the time, began the works on Valletta. Unfortunately, he died in 1568, only 2 years before the city was completed. 


The French swept Malta from the Knights in 1798 only to benefit from a siege of 2 years. During this time Napoleon abolished slavery and brought about a new education system, one which offered education for all.


After the French ruined terms with the Maltese after ransacking their churches, the Maltese sought for help and the British kicked in, taking Malta from Napoleon’s reign. This colony lasted over a century and led Malta to participate in World War 2, allying with England and America, amongst other countries. Malta was awarded the George Cross in 1942 for the honourable courage it demonstrated during the war. This symbol can nowadays be seen on the national flag. 


After the Second World War, the islands achieved self-rule through the Labour Party but they did not reach total independence up until 1964. Independence day is commemorated yearly on the 21st of September in honour of Malta’s step forward towards complete freedom from colonialism. Malta progressed to become a republic only 10 years later, in 1974, with Sir Anthony Mamo, as its first President. The first female president, Agatha Barbara, followed shortly, gaining the presidency in 1982.

EU 2004

After years of independence, Malta took to a referendum to debate whether joining the EU would be a profitable decision. After numerous debates, Malta joined the European Union in 2004 and adopted the euro, short after; in 2008.

We’re sure you now understand why Malta is known to be a history hub. No matter how many times you’ve been to Malta, the history is overflowing and the places left to visit are insurmountable!

Looking to visit the islands to experience the history for yourself? Book now!

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