Ancient Valetta, Malta

Ancient Valetta, Malta

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 image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc05402.jpg

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc05405.jpg
Gateway to Malta
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc05413.jpg
Old Storefronts
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc05503.jpg
Old world charm
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc05516.jpg
Lunch along the waterfront
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc05524.jpg
Sailing Away

They don’t say much on the cruise ship about St. John’s cathedral, but it’s so that we can be surprised when we see it ourselves, and holy mackerel, what sight to behold!  The church was build by the Knights of Malta and is considered of the finest examples of high Baroque architecture in Europe and of the greatest cathedrals in the world.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc05420.jpg
The Altar
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc054331.jpg
The Altar Closeup

The interior is over-the-top ornate, with intricately carved stone walls, painted vaulted ceilings, and side altars decorated with scenes from the life of St. John, each dedicated to a patron saint.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc05435.jpg
Arch details
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc05424.jpg
Side Chapels Dedicated to a Patron Saint
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc05441.jpg
Carving Details
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc05444.jpg
Beautiful Marble Carvings
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc05439.jpg
Chapel Carving Details

I was totally fascinated by the marble floors, which are an entire series of tombs, housing 375 knights and officers of the order.

DSC05448
Details of the knight and his victories

The exquisite workmanship is interwoven with the knight’s coat or arms, his victories and traits, lions and trumpets to represent valor, and skeletons and skulls symbolizing death and eternity.  The detail and intricacy is just breathtaking to see.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc054451.jpg
Reminders of Death and Eternity

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc05434.jpg

This entire church is such a miraculous work of art, a dazzling glitter of gold, exquisite detailing of which we have never seen the likes.  This church will long be in our memory.

Social Share

Monie Thompson

2 thoughts on “Amazing Waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave the field below empty!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.