The Siege of Malta (also known as the Great Siege of Malta) took place in 1565 when the Ottoman Empire invaded the island, then held by the Knights of St. John.
The siege is considered one of, if not the greatest, in military history and, from the point of view of the defenders, the most successful. However, it should not be viewed in isolation. Rather, it was the climax of an escalating contest between the Spanish and Ottoman empires for control of the Mediterranean, a contest that included a previous attack on Malta in 1551 by the Turkish corsair Turgut Reis and which in 1560 had resulted in the utter destruction of the Spanish armada by the Turks at the battle of Djerba.
The Siege of Malta did little, if anything, to alter the balance of power in the Mediterranean, but it was the first true defeat of the Ottoman Empire in a century and lifted European morale immeasurably. (more...)
Żabbar (or Ħaż-Żabbar) is the fifth largest town in Malta, with a population of 14,694. Originally a part of Żejtun, Żabbar was granted the title of Città Hompesch by the last of the Grandmasters of the Knights of St. John to reign in Malta, Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim. The Grandmaster gave his surname to the city, which is still known (in honorem) as Città Hompesch. The name of the city probably derives from the Maltese word 'niżbor', the process of pruning trees. Indeed, a number of families who specialised in żbir, this process, are known to have lived in the vicinity of this village during the Middle Ages. (more...)
Photo credit: jkb
The old Maltese buses, which were converted ex-British Armed Forces vehicles, were pressed into public transport as long ago as the early 1950s. These classic buses have become tourist attractions among themselves due to their uniqueness, and are depicted on many Maltese advertisements to promote tourism as well as on gifts and merchandise for tourists. However, these old buses are slowly being replaced by a more modern fleet.
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