Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its history is intertwined with that of the Knights of Malta, and it has preserved almost all its original features.
After the great siege of Malta in 1565, Grand Master Jean de La Vallette decided to build a new city to provide better protection against invading forces. The city, which bore his name, was inspired by architectural principles of the Italian Renaissance. Within the confines of the fortified peninsula of Valletta, which constitutes one of the most breathtaking natural sites of the Mediterranean, it dominates the Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour.
With a total of 320 historic monuments within a confined area of 55 hectares, Valletta is one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world. All streets are integrated within a grid system, which provides easy access between the numerous historical sites. Some of the main historical attractiosn include St. John’s co-Cathedral (1573), with its impressive frescos and original paintings by Caravaggio.
Other notable historical sites are the Palace of the Grand Master (end of 16th century), Auberge de Castille (1574), the Museum of Archeology at Auberge de Provence (1571-75), the Museum of Fine Art at Auberge d’Italie (1574), the Churches of Our Lady of Victory (1566) and St Catherine (1576), and the War Museum at Fort St. Elmo.