With Malta taking on the presidency of the European Union for the first time ever, the country is on the radar, boasting numerous interesting facts.
Geographically speaking, Malta is an anomaly. Formed largely from limestone rock that is part of a submerged ridge that connects Africa with Sicily, Malta consists of 3 major islands with a combined area of 121 square miles. It has no forests, no rivers and the highest point is only 253m.
Even with its small size, Malta has a population of almost half a million people, and receives more than three times its own population in tourists a year. And the country really has a lot to offer.
For example, the free-standing Neolithic Ġgantija temples on Gozo are older than the pyramids of Egypt and even (probably) Stonehenge. After all, Malta itself has been inhabited for over 7000 years.
Of the 365 churches on Malta, the Mosta Dome (aka Parish Church of the Assumption) could aspire to the title of Most Blessed. Based on Rome’s Pantheon and dedicated in 1871, it possesses the third largest unsupported dome in the world. If that is not enough, the dome was hit by a German aerial bomb on 9 April 1942, which pierced it to land within the church. But miraculously, the bomb did not explode, the church did not collapse and none of the 300 people attending mass were harmed.
After lifting the Great Siege of 1565, the Order of St. John decided to build a fortified city. That city, which would become the capital, Valletta – the smallest European capital city, covering 0.3 square miles, was Europe’s first fully planned city. It took only 15 years to be built.
Epic poetry and, indeed, the Western literary tradition may have a rather unexpected tie with Malta. Reading through Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, the Maltese island of Gozo seems to bear a striking resemblance to Ogygia, where Odysseus met Queen Calypso and stayed for 7 years. With a local landmark called Calypso’s Cave overlooking the sun-drenched beach at Ramla Bay and the youthful immortality that Calypso promised, it is easy to understand why he stayed so long.
Apart from Odysseus, due to its strategic location in the Mediterranean, many have come to the islands and have stayed far longer than initially planned. After first being colonised by the Phoenicians around 1000 BC, Malta has hosted Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, the Holy Roman Empire, the Order of St. John, Napoleonic France, and the British Empire before achieving independence in 1964 (yet staying within the British Commonwealth).
Nowadays, Malta is an independent highly industrialised economy and its location as a crossroads between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, along with the low corporate tax and the rapid economic growth, all come to favour international investments.
And if you’re looking to consolidate business opportunities in Malta, EVS Translations could be your ideal partner for all your corporate Maltese language needs. At your request, we can assemble specialist Maltese translator teams for your industry sector and thereby produce high-quality Maltese translations in line with international standards.
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