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Delve into History in the Lesser Known Museums of Malta

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More and more holidaymakers from the UK are turning to smaller, further afield countries like Malta for their European getaways. With flights, accommodation and Malta airport transfer services all affordable and little more than a web search away, it’s easy to see why. Alongside their great weather, beautiful beaches and tropical island ambience, the Maltese islands also have a fascinating history.

Read on for a primer on the archipelago’s background and information on some of the islands’ lesser-known museums.

A Long History

Located in the central Mediterranean, Malta has long been an important strategic site, with various powers including the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and British all making use of the islands. First inhabited as early as 5900 BCE, this area has a much longer and more interesting history than you might even imagine. Big-name museums like the National Museum of Archaeology and the Maritime Museum are great, but it’s also well worth going off the beaten track to learn a little more about the islands’ lesser-known heritage.

The Folklore Museum

Bernardo de Opuo Street, Citadella, Victoria, VCT 1860, Gozo

Located on Gozo, this museum focuses on traditional life on these islands. The first floor focuses on hobbies such as hunting and modelling miniature churches, with exhibits turning to working life as we move down the building. A mezzanine level exhibits local crafts such as bookbinding and weaving, while the ground floor shows off a wide array of agricultural and artisans’ tools, including those used by traditional blacksmiths and carpenters. It’s a really unique way to get a picture of how people lived here centuries ago.

Nativity Museum

Crypt of the Church of St Augustine, Old Mint Street, Valletta, Malta

In one of the capital city’s many churches, this unique museum makes the perfect trip at Christmastime and all year round. Five different sectors take visitors through the full story of the birth of Christ, with reconstructions of iconic scenes and reproductions of works by artists like Botticelli and Caravaggio. The animated crib here is also outstanding, albeit in a field with likely few competitors. It was exhibited at the opening of the European Parliament, and has graced Paris’s Notre Dame.

Aviation Museum

Ta’Qali, limits of H’Attard, Malta

A UK colony since 1815, the archipelago survived an Axis siege during the Second World War – an experience that earned it the George Cross. While this museum has more modern aircraft on display too, the biggest attractions are a Hawker Hurrican Ila and a restored Spitfire Mk IX. What’s more, aviation buffs can also drop in to see the process of reconstructing old aircraft.

Ta’Kola Windmill

Bambina Street, Xaghra, XRA 2112, Gozo

Back to the smaller Gozo now, for one of the most fascinating looks at early modern life you’ll find in the region. The 15m-high circular tower is striking, but it’s even more interesting once you step inside. The last surviving mill built by the Knights of Malta, Ta’Kola, which roughly translates as ‘belonging to Nicholas’, offers the chance to see authentic tools from the eighteenth century. Even better, the first floor features a recreated living quarters, authentically furnished with traditional Gozitan crafts.

How to Get There

Flights from London Heathrow take just a little over three hours. Malta airport transfer services are the best way to reach your destination from the airport, as although the landmass is small, its dense population and high tourist traffic can make public transport a little uncomfortable. Pre-book your Malta airport transfer before you leave home and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble.

With all this in mind, this is a destination that comes highly recommended to anyone with an interest in history – especially if you’re keen to learn more about traditional ways of living.
About author: Desiree Michels

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable Malta airport transfer service Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.

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