Malta’s culture reflects the changes that have continued throughout its long and rich history. The various cultures that have been part of Malta’s history have left an interesting mosaic of events all year throughout the islands. Expats in Malta are spoiled for choice.
Bands play regularly all over the islands and clubs usually feature all kinds of different bands in most cities and towns. The Parish Fiesta is one of the most important events for bands spending their time in Malta. The Parish Fiesta includes unique bands but also great dining and plenty to drink. Firework displays are all part of the fun as well.
People are often surprised to learn of the numner of excellent recitals that happen regularly in many of the baroque style churches. Classical music played by orchestras, soloists and operas are all part of the Maltese tradition. Incredible architecture of the Aurora Opera House and grand Manoel Theatre create a vibrancy and authenticity that must be experienced first hand. The Manoel is one of Europe’s oldest theaters and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra has close ties to the Manoel theater.
International and local soloists as well as bands are part of the Malta Jazz Festival. This even happens in July every year and there is a stunning mixture of jazz players that come from all over the world to delight audiences. The festival happens for three nights only in Valletta and only a small fee is required for entrance. Go to www.maltajazzfestival.org for more details.
Folk music from Malta has a long tradition and is commonly called Għana. Beautiful guitar music is played while various people connect with the music and then debate with each other by using song. The words of the music are improvised to create a dramatic feel. All kinds of Għana music is played at the wonderful and unique Ghanafest. The three-day festival is an annual event which happens every June in the Argotti Botanical Gardens, Floriana. This event is perfect for families looking for a great variety traditional Maltese food. Go to www.maltafolkmusicfestival.org for more details about the festival.
Museums and Galleries in Malta
When it comes to Malta’s culture, it has a vast selection of outdoor and indoor museums. They display artifacts from many historical eras. Prehistory to World War II history is displayed wonderfully in the museums and galleries of Malta. The experience of Maltese museums and galleries is something to behold. The museums and galleries provide something new and exciting for all observers. Baroque architecture, relics, art and lost treasures can all be found.
Here are some of the best museums to visit:
- The Museum of Archaeology in Valletta includes a large amount of prehistoric artefacts.
- The War Museum at Fort St. Elmo includes a Sunday military parade re-enactment. Casa Bernard near St. Paul’s Church, is a well looked after,late 16th Century Palazzo, and is houses a Maltese noble family.
- The Gozo Cathedral Museum has around 2000 pieces or more displayed, including archives and paintings. Many of these were completed by some of the best and hardest working local artists.
- Domus Romana or ‘Roman House’,include mosaic pavements made with a traditional technique which dates back to approximately the first century BC.
The islands are truly a haven for art lovers and the reason for this can be put down to the Knight of St. John’s 250-year rule. Back then, people were very interested in the arts and left behind a large number of masterpieces. These are scattered all over the Maltese islands.
Experience these incredible places:
- National Museum of Fine Arts
- John’s Cathedral (Caravaggio’s Beheading of St. John is well worth a look)
- Palazzo Falson in Mdina – fantastic antiques
- Centre for Creativity at St James Cavalier – more modern works and displays
Malta has more than 7,000 years of history resulting in an endless architectural treasure trove. Architecture lovers will be amazed to see megalithic temples, churches, forts, underground catacombs, Bronze Age dolmens and Roman Villas. This is just a starter and there are many other, architectural wonders to visit.
Some of the architectural works to see in Malta are:
- The temples of Malta and Gozo. The Ġgantija Temples are believed to be some of the oldest free-standing buildings ever made. The buildings have been dated from 3600 to 3200 BC.
- The Hypogeum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a very popular and famous temple in Malta. It features a maze underground which was possibly used as a burial site and temple. The architecture and artefacts leaves observers in awe.
Culture, history and art enthusiasts have endless opportunities in Malta and Gozo. Come and experience Malta’s culture for yourself!