One of the aspects that make Malta unique is the presence of the Order of St. John on our islands, the so-called Hospital Knights or Knights of Malta. This military order left a unique touch in our culture, our history, but especially in these two cities which they made themselfs.
We start with Birgu (Vittoriosa), the first settlement of the order of St. John in Malta, but already before Aragonese city of Arab origin, and probably Phoenician. Its alleyways are today one of the best kept secrets of the archipelago.
In this city resisted the Christian knights during the Ottoman Siege of Malta of 1565, and centuries later had to resist against the Axis bombers, being one of the most affected areas of Europe by World War II and one of the most bombed in the world.
Today, proud of its past and immersed in its present, we find a city of stunning alleyways full of life and beautiful corners
After Birgu we embark on a dghajsa*, gondola-like sea taxis that the Order used to move in the Great Port, to cross into the capital of Malta since the Order built, Valletta.
The first stone of the Valletta was laid in 1566. After that, many followed it to form the most modern city in Europe in the 16th century. At the time, its main charm lay, not only in its honey-colored streets or panoramic views of the Grand Harbour, but in that Valletta did not smell! as it was built on a system of pipes and pipes that made it the dream city of European nobility.
The Baroque also came to Malta by the Order of St. John. The city modernizes in the new style losing its previous air of war fortress and becoming a unique city, able to penetrate the spirit of the most experienced travelers leaving a hard-to-forget mark.
We’ll tour the city’s most iconic landmarks, such as Upper Barraca Gardens, Republic Street or St George’s Square, with explanations of why and how it builds and how it evolves.
In Valletta we will have a stop to eat.
And although not included in the visit we strongly recommend the entrance to the concathedral of St. John, splendid convent church of the order which is considered “the most baroque building in the world”, in which two paintings of Caravaggio are also housed. “San Jerónimo writing” and “The Beheading of St. John”, the artist’s masterpiece.
Apart from all this, the Order left a vast legacy, ranging from art that we can appreciate in a palace of the Order today converted into the MUZA (Museum of Fine Arts), fortresses such as Fort of St Elmo (which houses the National War Museum), and sometimes a mixture of both as the Palace Armory (one of the best armor collections of the seventeenth and eighteenth century). With what we recommend you to tell your guide your interests to advise and accompany you.
* The crossing in dghajsa will depend on the weather conditions, and can be replaced by the ferry service or a private vehicle.
- Total price up to 3 passengers – 220 euros
- Total price up to 8 passengers – 370 euros
- Total price up to 14 passengers – 415 euros
- For more than 15 passengers you can consult us in Groups
- Duration: 8 hours
- The visit will be made with official guide
- Includes pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle
- Includes dghajsa or alternative transport to Birgu.