Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is a small island nation comprising an archipelago of seven islands (Malta, Gozo (Għawdex) Comino (Kemmuna) Filfla, Cominotto (Kemmunett) Manoel, Selmunett (St.Paul's Islands) in the Mediterranean Sea. A country of Southern Europe, Malta lies south of Sicily, east of Tunisia, and north of Libya. The country's official languages are Maltese and English. Roman Catholicism is the most practised religion. The islands constituting the Maltese nation have been ruled by various powers and fought over by many states for centuries. Malta has been a member state of the European Union (EU) since 2004 and it is currently the smallest EU country both in population and in area.
The Manoel Theatre (Teatru Manoel, in Maltese) is reputed to be Europe's third-oldest working theatre, and the oldest working theatre in the Commonwealth of Nations. Located on Old Theatre Street (Triq it-Teatru l-Antik) in Valletta, it is now Malta's National Theatre and home to the National Orchestra of Malta (Orkestra Nazzjonali). The Manoel Theatre is a small, six-hundred and fifty seat venue, with a lavish, oval-shaped auditorium, three tiers of boxes constructed entirely of wood and decorated with 22-carat gold leaf, and a pale blue, trompe-l'œil ceiling that resembles a round cupola. Hidden behind an austere facade that is fully in keeping with Valletta's Mannerist architecture, is a richly adorned, glorious Rococo interior. Despite numerous alterations over the years, it retains many of its old architectural features, such as the white Carrara marble staircase, shell-shaped niches, and Viennese chandeliers. Two water reservoirs beneath the floor create an acoustic environment that is so precise, that the hushed page-turnings of an orchestra conductor can be heard clearly throughout the auditorium. (more...)
Qormi (pronounced Or'mee), also known as Ħal Qormi or Città Pinto, is a city in Malta with a population of 16,576. The town is located southwest of Valletta in the centre of Malta. The town enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry, sunny summers and short, cool winters. The neighbouring towns of Qormi are Marsa, Luqa and Żebbuġ. Qormi sits just off a main road between Mdina and Valletta. The patron saints of Qormi are Saint George and Saint Sebastian. For two weeks in summer, the town celebrates its two patron saints. The town is also known for its Good Friday procession with over 500 people participating each year. more...)
The temple of Ħaġar Qim excavated for the first time in 1839, dates from the Tarxien phase (c.3200-2500 BC). It stands on a hilltop on the southern edge of the island of Malta overlooking the sea and the islet of Filfla and lies some two kilometres south-west of the village of Qrendi. Adjacent to Ħaġar Qim, further towards the cliff face, lies another remarkable temple site, Mnajdra. The surrounding area, which is typical of Mediterraneangarigue and spectacular in its starkness and isolation, is designated a Heritage Park.