As we sailed into Valetta, Malta, it was like seeing an ancient Biblical city that time had forgotten. Most of it’s buildings were constructed in the 1600s during the rule of the Knights Hospitaller, or the Order of St. John, one of the most famous Western Christian military orders of the Middle Ages. They were dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
Their mission was to follow the crusades, which were widespread military expeditions by the Roman Catholic Church to regain the Hold Lands that were taken by Islamic conquests who imposed their Muslim religion. The Knights were successful in regaining possession of the Holy Lands from the Turks, freeing the people from Muslim rule. Grandmaster, Jean de Valette led the siege, from whom the city then took his name. To date, Malta is 99% Roman Catholic in great thanks to the Knights.
This city is absolutely mythic. The narrow meandering streets are crowded with ancient buildings and ancient Renaissance cathedrals and Baroque palaces with 2,000 years if history. The entire city was recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1980. The old and historical building have now been filled with little shops and eateries but there is still plenty of old world charm to take you back in time.