Valletta is the capital city of Malta and located in the south-east of the island. Its population is about 7 000. Valletta is the southernmost capital of Europe and also its smallest.
Valletta’s 16th-century buildings were constructed by the Knights Hospitaller. The city is Baroque in character with elements of neo-classical and modern architecture. The second world war left major scars on the city, particularly the destruction of the Royal Opera House.
The city’s fortifications, consisting of bastions, along with the beauty of its Baroque palaces, gardens and churches have often led to Valletta being cited for its beauty.
The building of a city on this location was proposed by the Order of Saint John as early as 1524. Back then, the only building on the peninsula was a small watchtower built in 1488. The foundation stone of the city was laid by Grand Master de Valette on 28 March 1566 and the city was almost complete by the early 1570s and it became the capital on 18 March 1571.
The entire city of Valletta has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980, along with Megalithic Temples of Malta and the Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni. Valletta has been selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2018.