List of World Heritage sites in Malta

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Location of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Malta (blue dots indicate the sites of Megalithic Temples)

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972.[1] Malta ratified the convention on 14 November 1978, making its historical sites eligible for inclusion on the list.[2]

Sites in Malta were first inscribed on the list at the 4th Session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Paris, France in 1980. At that session, all three current sites were added to the list: the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, City of Valletta, and Ġgantija Temples.[3] In 1992, the temples of Ħaġar Qim, Mnajdra, Ta' Ħaġrat, Skorba, and Tarxien were added to the site of Ġgantija Temples, to form the Megalithic Temples of Malta site. Further minor modification of boundaries of this site took place in 2015.[4]<.[5] All three sites are listed as cultural sites, as determined by the organization's selection criteria.[1]

As of 2018, there Malta also has seven sites on the tentative list, all of which were listed in 1998.[2]

World Heritage sites[edit]

UNESCO lists sites under ten criteria; each entry must meet at least one of the criteria. Criteria i through vi are cultural, whereas vii through x are natural.[6]

Site Image Location Year listed UNESCO data Description
Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum An underground necropolis. Paola 1980 130; iii (cultural) The hypogeum is a large subterranean structure dating back to the Saflieni phase. It was probably originally a temple, but it became a necropolis in prehistoric times. It was used between 4000 BC and 2500 BC and was again discovered in 1902.[7]
City of Valletta Skyline of a city with a church dome and bell tower. Valletta 1980 131; i, vi (cultural) The city of Valletta was founded in 1566. The Knights of St John conceived and planned the city as a single, holistic creation of the late Renaissance, with a uniform grid plan within fortified city walls. Although experiencing renovations and an extensive damage during World War II, a high proportion of the urban fabric has been preserved or restored. Some of the Valletta's 320 monuments include Saint John's Co-Cathedral, the Grandmaster's Palace, the Auberge de Castille, the Auberge de Provence, the Auberge d'Italie, the Auberge d'Aragon, and the churches of Our Lady of Victory, St. Catherine and il Gesù, as well as the 18th century constructions such as the Auberge de Bavière, the Church of the Shipwreck of St Paul, and the Manoel Theatre.[8]
Megalithic Temples of Malta Façade of a prehistoric temple made up of large megaliths. Xagħra, Qrendi, Mġarr, and Tarxien 1980 132; iv (cultural) A series of prehistoric temples in various parts of the Maltese islands, which are among the oldest free-standing structures in the world. The temples were built during three distinct periods, approximately between 3600 BC and 700 BC. Originally only listing the Ġgantija Temple, the site was extended in 1992. [5]

Tentative list[edit]

In addition to the sites inscribed on the World Heritage list, member states can maintain a list of tentative sites that they may consider for nomination. Nominations for the World Heritage list are only accepted if the site has previously been listed on the tentative list.[9]

As of 2018, Malta was recording seven such sites on its tentative list, all of which were added in 1998.[2]

Site Image Location Year listed UNESCO criteria Description
Coastal Cliffs Limestone cliffs overlooking the sea. various locations in Malta, Gozo, Comino, Cominotto and Filfla 1998 (natural) Cliffed coastline in various parts of the Maltese Islands, containing rich biodiversity of rare flora and fauna.[10]
Qawra/Dwejra Bay with an islet and cliffs in the distance. San Lawrenz, Gozo 1998 vii, viii, ix, x (natural) A marine bay containing various geological features, including the former Azure Window, the Fungus Rock and the Inland Sea.[11]
Cittadella (Victoria – Gozo) Skyline of a small fortified city. Victoria 1998 ii, iii, iv, v (cultural) Small fortified city dating back to the medieval and early modern periods.[12]
Knights' Fortifications around the Harbours of Malta View of a fortress. Birgu, Senglea, Floriana, Cospicua, Kalkara, Gżira and Sliema 1998 i, ii, iv (cultural) System of bastioned fortifications built by the Order of St. John between the 16th and 18th centuries, with further alterations made by the British in the 19th and 20th centuries. Includes Fort St. Angelo, the fortifications of Birgu and Senglea, the Floriana Lines, the Santa Margherita Lines, the Cottonera Lines, Fort Ricasoli, Fort Manoel and Fort Tigné.[13]
Mdina (Città Vecchia) Aerial view of a fortified medieval city. Mdina 1998 i, ii, iii (cultural) Small fortified city with a mainly medieval character but also significant Baroque elements.[14]
Maltese Catacomb Complexes Inside a rock-hewn catacomb complex. various locations on the main island of Malta 1998 i, ii, iii (cultural) Series of catacomb complexes, developed from simple Phoenician and Hellenistic rock-cut tombs to more complex types in Roman Empire. [15]
Victoria Lines Fortifications View of a valley with a fortified bridge cutting across it. Rabat, Mġarr, Mosta, Naxxar and Għargħur 1998 i, ii, iii (cultural) Line of fortifications built in the 19th century by the British.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The World Heritage Convention". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Malta". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 13 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Report of the Rapporteur on the Fourth Session of the World Heritage Committee". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 29 September 1980. Archived from the original on 24 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Report of the Rapporteur on the Sixteenth Session of the World Heritage Committee". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 14 December 1992. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Megalithic Temples of Malta – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 19 March 2016.
  6. ^ "UNESCO World Heritage Centre – The Criteria for Selection". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 21 March 2016.
  8. ^ "City of Valletta – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 3 April 2016.
  9. ^ "Tentative Lists". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Coastal Cliffs – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016.
  11. ^ "Qawra/Dwejra – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016.
  12. ^ "Cittadella (Victoria – Gozo) – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 6 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Knights' Fortifications around the Harbours of Malta – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015.
  14. ^ "Mdina (Città Vecchia) – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 26 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Maltese Catacomb Complexes – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 6 September 2015.
  16. ^ "Victoria Lines Fortifications – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 24 March 2016.