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Title: Valletta : an epitome of multiculturalism
Other Titles: Cultural encounters the mosaic of urban identities
Authors: Cassar, Carmel
Cassar, George
Keywords: Knights of Malta -- History
Order of St John -- History
Valletta (Malta) -- History
Multiculturalism -- Malta -- History
Malta -- History -- British occupation, 1800-1964
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: UNECC
Citation: Cassar, G., & Cassar, C. (2014). Valletta: an epitome of multiculturalism. In E. N. Burduşel, O. Matiu, D. Preda & A. Tomuş (Eds.), Cultural encounters the mosaic of urban identities (pp. 112-122). Rumania: UNECC.
Abstract: Hospitaller Order of St. John (1530-1798) When in 1530, Emperor Charles V granted the Maltese islands as a fief to the Hospitaller Order of St. John, the old isolation of Malta melted into thin air. The terms offered by the Holy Roman Emperor were so generous that with time the Order turned the island into a veritable sovereign state in all senses of the word. 1 Various categories of foreigners, attracted by good work opportunities, settled in Malta, importing social, cultural and ideological components which were different from those originally predominating in the island. It may be said that the Ottoman Siege of Malta of 1565 brought about a radical transformation to life in the island - a break with the past manifested itself at all levels. The new system created a dual social structure that developed immediately after the Knights Hospitallers set foot on Malta in 1530 and became even more apparent after the siege of 1565 and the building of Valletta. This duality did not only exist at the social level, but it also pervaded the mental and cognitive structures of Maltese society. Two different cultural blocs, strictly separated from each other, formed two opposing camps, namely, Mdina and its suburb of Rabat as the seat of the countryside; Birgu (Vittoriosa after 1565) – and later Valletta – the seat of the urbanized harbour area.
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