Malta: In the crossing of cultures
The small island republic of Malta is a historic yacht charter area in the Mediterranean between Tunisia and Italy. This strategically important location between the continents and between the western and eastern Mediterranean, this archipelago, consisting of the barren, arid islands of Malta, Gozo, Comino, Cominotto and Filfla, owes its lively history of the last 3000 years: Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Ostrogoths , Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, German, French and Spanish noble families, the Johanniter, the French under Napoleon and until independence in 1964 the British ruled the island. Apostle Paul was shipwrecked in Malta in AD 60 and converted parts of the population to the Christian faith as a result.
In Malta, however, advanced cultures built temples long before the Phoenicians. The megalithic Ġgantija temples date from between 3600 and 3200 BC. BC, the hypogeum (Greek for “underground”) carved deep into the rock of Ħal-Saflieni with its tombs from the time between 3800 and 2500 BC.
In the past, there were repeated attacks by pirates and privateers in Malta. The successful defense against attacks by the Ottomans under Suleyman the Great is the greatest military success so far in Malta’s long history. In modern times, Malta was exposed to German and Italian attacks during the Second World War as an important British military base for the expeditions in North Africa. Malta has been a member of the EU since 2004 and the euro was introduced as the official currency in 2008. Today Malta is a popular destination for tourists. Due to its location between Tunisia and Italy, Malta is also a first point of contact for migrants who set sail from North Africa to Europe.