The Grand Capital of the Knights of Malta
Founded after the crusades in 1099 to care for sick and injured pilgrims, the religious military Order of Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem played a significant role in shaping Malta. This itinerary takes you to Valletta, the city founded by the Order in 1566 and today, Malta's cosmopolitan center.
As a 2018 European Capital of Culture, Valletta offers a thriving cultural scene with vibrant festivals, contemporary art, noteworthy dining, and so much more.
The Order of St. John arrived in Malta in 1522 needing a new home after Ottoman Turks captured Rhodes, where they had thrived for 200 years. After warding off the Ottomans once again in 1565, the Knights began building their capital city. Napoleon drove the Order out of Malta in 1798, and subsequently they set up headquarters in Rome, where they remained. But the Knights' impact on Valletta can be seen throughout the city to this day.
Time: 3-4 hours
Entry Fees: €12 for Lascaris War Rooms, €10 for St John's Co-Cathedral, €10 for the Grandmaster's Palace,
Starting point: Upper Barrakka Gardens
If you're on a mobile device, click here for the best viewing experience
GUIDES ON THE GO
Take this Compass & Key walking tour with you by following @compassandkey on the Mapstr app. You can also download a PDF of the guide below to save it to your mobile device or print it out on standard letter-size paper.