Malta is an island country near the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, about 95
kilometers south of Sicily. It is an archipelago (group of islands). It contains
three inhabited islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino, and three uninhabited
islets: Cominotto, Filfla, and Selmunett (St. Paul's Isle).
Malta is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Low hills
with slopes cut by terraced fields make much of Malta resemble a series of giant
steps. The balmy Mediterranean climate attracts many visitors.
Tourists also come to Malta to see the remains of some of the world's oldest
Neolithic temples, as well as some of the world's finest examples of Baroque and
Renaissance art and architecture. Malta was once a British crown colony. In
1964, Malta became an independent country.
A Short Background
Great Britain formally acquired possession of Malta in 1814. The island
staunchly supported the UK through both World Wars and remained in the
Commonwealth when it became independent in 1964. A decade later Malta became a
Over the last 15 years, the island has become a major freight transshipment
point, financial center, and tourist destination. It is an official candidate
for EU membership.
||Southern Europe, islands in the
Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily (Italy)
||35 50 N, 14 35 E
||394,583 (July 2001 est.)
||Maltese (descendants of ancient
Carthaginians and Phoenicians, with strong elements of Italian and other
||Roman Catholic 91%
||Maltese (official), English (official)
||Maltese lira (MTL)
||1 EURO to Maltese Lira: 0.43092 (April 2004)