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Head into a building that claims to subject you to the Malta Experience and anyone who has visited these island will be imagine what could be inside. To many, their Malta experience involves being very hot, eating and drinking too much, occasionally throwing yourself in the sea or pool to cool off and generally having a very nice time. But that’s not why people queue up to get in here!
Sadly, this building cannot provide that full Malta experience - you need to spend a week on the island to get one of those. But it is worth a visit! It would perhaps more accurately be called the Malta History Experience because it takes you back through time to explain how this nation has arrived at its current state.
It’s claim to be “your ideal first stop on the island!” is a more accurate description because once you have experienced the ‘Experience’ you’ll a much better idea of the many significant past events that have helped create modern Malta. Then, everything you see and hear subsequently during your trip will make much more sense.
The Malta Experience is delivered in the form of an audio-visual presentation that depicts the eventful and turbulent history of the Maltese Islands. That history is long and extremely eventful. Plenty has gone on here throughout the centuries and evidence of settlement on the islands can be traced back more than 7,000 years.
Some of the prehistoric temples like Hagar Qim, Mnajdra and Ggantija (Gozo) actually pre-date the Egyptian Pyramids and England’s Stonehenge. That should illustrate to you how long people have been knocking around on these islands.
You’ll discover the various invading forces and empires that have sought and succeeded in taking over this key strategic location between North Africa and mainland Europe. These include; the Sicilians, Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Arabs not to mention the famous Knights of St John.
The Knights arrived in the 16th century, protected the island from an invasion by the Ottoman Empire in the Great Siege, built Valletta and left a trail of immeasurable treasures in the shape of fine Baroque buildings and architecture.
The Experience also covers recent history, like when the French led by Napoleon took brief control over the islands, from 1798 to 1800. They were quickly ousted by the British, who remained until Malta was granted independence in 1964 and then later became a republic in 1974.
All this is and much more is explained in detail during your visit. All you have to do is sit back in the air-conditioned auditorium, put on your headphones, relax and enjoy the show!
More than 4.5 million visitors have already … well, experienced The Malta Experience since the 1980s, when it was first opened. The show is continuously updated to keep the look fresh and the content up to the minute and accurate.
You’ll find the attraction directly across the road from the Mediterranean Conference Centre, which is next to Fort St Elmo. This is the large fortification that can easily be spotted at the end of the headland on which Valletta is situated.
There’s a café in the experience building serving hot and cold snacks and better still, you can take them outside and enjoy them on a spectacular terrace that affords excellent views across the Grand Harbour and the sea.
The gift shop is better than most too as it tries to sell souvenirs with an authentic Maltese flavour rather than just any old tat! Local lace and jewellery is available and look out for Bajtra, a liqueur made from the prickly pear fruit that grow extensively on the island.
Standard adult admission is €10, while for students it’s €7 and for juniors up to 14-years-old tickets are €5. Senior citizens enjoy a 10% discount. You can visit every day except Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. You can reserve your tickets in advance using the email address below. More details are available on the website.
Address: St Elmo Bastions, Mediterranean Street, Valletta VLT 06
Phone: +356 2124 3776
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