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Where Is Malta and What
Ta' Pinu Sanctuary. This is a national shrine and a center of pilgrimages for both the Gozitans and the Maltese.
Malta, officially the Republic of Malta, is a southern European country and consists of an archipelago situated centrally in the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km east of Tunisia, with the Strait of Gibraltar 1,826 km to the west and Alexandria 1,510 km to the east.
Malta covers just over 300 km² in land area, making it one of the world's smallest and most densely populated countries. Its de facto capital is Valletta and the largest city is Birkirkara. The main island is made up of many small towns, which together form one Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) with a population of 368,250 (majority of the population of the country) according to Eurostat. Therefore, Malta can be considered a city-state. The country has two official and national languages: Maltese and English.
Gozo, meaning “joy” in Castilian, is the second largest island of the Maltese archipelago, with a population of approximately 30,000. Though separated from mainland Malta by a 5km stretch of sea, Gozo is distinctly different from Malta. The Island is a third the size of Malta, more rural and simple, its culture and way of life rooted in fishing, as well as in primitive pastoral and agricultural activity.
Malta has a long Christian legacy and is an Apostolic See. According to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul was shipwrecked on "Melite", as the Greeks called the island, and ministered there. Catholicism continues to be the official and dominant religion in Malta.
Malta is internationally renowned tourist resort with regard on recreational repose and historical monuments, including nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, most prominently the Megalithic Temples which are the oldest free-standing structures in Europe.
The islands have hot, dry summers and mild winters. The economy depends on foreign trade, tourism and the manufacture of electronics and textiles. Main trading partners are the USA, France and Italy. Malta joined the European Union in May 2004.
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