Valletta's oldest gate, built by the British in 1884-85.
The gate was designed by Emanuel Galizia and named after Queen Victoria. It replaced the single arch Marina Gate built at the time of the knights complete with draw bridge. The need for a bigger gate had been felt because the area of Marina Street down to the harbour was, at the time, the busiest part of Valletta. Ships used to berth close by, bringing produce from Italy and Gozo, and the shops which lined Marina Street used to be a hive of activity, with wholesalers supplying the other shops in Valletta. The area also used to boast many bars.
La Valetta is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The capital of Malta is inextricably linked to the history of the military and charitable Order of St John of Jerusalem. It was ruled successively by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and the Order of the Knights of St John. Valletta’s 320 monuments, all within an area of 55 ha, make it one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.
The capital of Malta is one of the rare urban inhabited sites that has preserved in near entirety its original features. It is inextricably linked to the history of the military and charitable Order of St John of Jerusalem. It was ruled successively by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and the Order of the Knights of St John. The city has undergone no important modifications since 1798, the date when it was abandoned by the Knights of St John.
The interweave of the urban fabric is of excellent quality and even the minor architecture has undergone no substantial alteration. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the influence of English architecture has combined in a surprising manner with that of the older existing local structures, creating new and original forms (for example narrow houses with bow windows, which fit well into the urban milieu. Moreover, the state of preservation of its well-constructed patrimony serves to make Valletta an example of historic conservation on a universal scale.