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History

Mnajdra Temple Altar - Learn English in Malta with one of the first English language schools in Malta, am Language StudioThe island’s oldest historical sites are the megalithic temples that date from as far back as 3600 BC. From then on, the Phoenicians colonised the islands around 800 BC and stayed for about 600 years. The Romans made Malta part of their empire in 208 BC.

Apart from Ulysses’ stay on Gozo (known as Calypso’s Isle), the most famous visitor to the island was the apostle Paul, who was shipwrecked on Malta in 60 AD. Tradition has it that he converted the islanders to Christianity, although Biblical and scientific scholars at one time suggested he may have been wrecked on Kefallin in Greece. Several hundred years of peaceful isolation followed, until Arabs from North Africa arrived in 870 A.D.. The Arabs exerted a powerful influence over the Maltese and the spoken language, and also introduced citrus fruits and cotton. Norman invaders from Sicily displaced the Arabs in 1090, and for the next 400 years Malta remained under Sicilian sway.

In 1530 the Emperor of Spain gave the islands to the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, in exchange for a rent of two Maltese falcons a year. The Order of St John, founded during the Crusades, was made up of the younger members of European aristocratic families who were not in line to inherit the family estate. They fortified the islands – just in time for an invasion of 30,000 Turks in 1565. The Turks laid siege to Malta for three months, but 700 knights and 8000 Maltese managed to hold them off. The knights were hailed as the saviours of Europe. For their pains they were awarded a newly designed and fortified city, Valletta.

Temple - One of the first English language schools in Malta, am Language Studio has a history for offering quality English language courses and customer satisfactionWith fame and power came corruption, and the knights turned to piracy; but by the time Napoleon arrived in 1798, they were too feeble to put up a fight. It was the British who aided the Maltese in their fight against the French, and by 1800 Malta formed part of the British Empire. Modern History Britain turned Malta into a major naval base, making it an inviting target for the Axis during WWII. After a long blockade and five months of non-stop bombing raids, Malta was devastated. On 15 April 1942, King George VI awarded the George Cross – Britain’s highest award for civilian bravery – to the entire Maltese population. The Maltese were staring down the barrel of surrender when a relief convoy limped into port, allowing Malta to go on to play a crucial role in the invasion of Italy.

Soon after the war, Malta began moving away from Britain and toward independence, achieving complete autonomy in 1964. In 1974, it became a republic, and by 1979 the government was signing agreements with Libya, the Soviet Union and North Korea, much to the alarm of Britain and its allies. This flirtation with Communism ended with the victory of the Nationalist Party in 1987, which began leading Malta toward membership of the European Union (EU).

Fort St Angelo Projection - Learn English in Malta with one of the first English language schools in Malta, am Language StudioThe 1996 general election saw the Labour Party, led by Dr Alfred Sant, regain power on the promise that the country’s application for EU membership would be withdrawn. In 1998, with the application suspended, Eddie Fenech Adami’s Nationalist Party was returned to power.  In recent decades, the Maltese have achieved considerable prosperity, thanks largely to tourism – every summer the Maltese population triples due to an influx of tourists – but the island nation is also increasingly benefitting from trade and light industries. On 1st May 2004 Malta became the smallest of ten countries to attain membership of the European Union