The territory of myths and legends a paradise for Instagram users, the smallest country in the European Union – it only has 316 km2 – is still one of the most unknown among its neighbors on the Old Continent. Its geographical location in the heart of the Mediterranean, to the south of the island of Sicily and to the east of Tunisia, has turned malt for centuries in a strategic point, coveted by the great powers of the moment.
Through the archipelago, made up of seven islands, of which only three are inhabited – Malta, Gozo and Comino-, Phoenicians, Roman Greeks, Arabs, Spanish, Italians, French, and English have passed – the latter did not become independent until 1964- and the footprint of all of them is still present. It is perceived in its ancient buildings, Norman cathedrals, baroque palaces and hundreds of churches, which together with its picturesque landscapes have served as a source of inspiration from artists from all over the world and the location of movies and series.
Can you imagine walking around the town where Popeye lived or going through the great gate of King’s Landing? Well in Malta it is possible. Numerous film directors and producers have chosen the archipelago as the setting for their stories. Here are some of them.
Ya Troy ’
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen and starring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom, Troy, the Hollywood blockbuster released in 2004, has set principal Valletta, the country’s capital, and other diverse settings spread across the archipelago.
Among them, the fort Ricasoli, a 17th-century construction, and beaches like Golden bay northeast of Malta, or the Blue Lagoon, a narrow channel of calm and blue waters, as its name indicates; a small paradise for lovers of scuba diving, hiking or surfing, on the island of Comino.
Very close to Mellieha, in the northwest of the island of Malta, we find Anchor bay, an entire town built to roll
Popeye, the Robert Altman feature film starring 1980 by Robin Williams. Known as Popeye’s Village o Sweethaven Village, the town of Popeye has become a claim for little and not so little.
And is that this corner, which remains intact, is an Outdoor museum and an original theme park. Consisting of 19 wooden houses in the purest American style of the early 20th century, here visitors will find Popeye, Olivia or Cocoliso. In addition, diving fans are in luck, this bay has one of the best seabeds in the area.
Alejandro Amenábar found in the Maltese archipelago the ideal locations for Agora, a 2009 film that managed to win seven Goya Awards, including the Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography. It was precisely this scenario in which the Chilean-Spanish director managed to give life to the Alexandria of Hypatia.
Production took place in various areas, such as the Fort Ricasoli, Mdina, Valletta or Marsaxlokk. The houses, the agora, the chair of mathematics or the temples had impressive decorations that can still be visited today by tourists who travel to the area.
‘Game of Thrones’
Mdina is itself the protagonist of one of the most successful series of recent times: Game of Thrones. Who doesn’t remember the scene where Catelyn Stark accompanied by Ser Rodrik enters King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, in the first season? The city gate appears in it, although it is not the only foray into this beautiful medieval city.
The forts Ricasoli, St. Angelo and Manoel They also serve as settings, although most will probably remember the beautiful cliffs of Gozo, converted into the exteriors of Pentos, where Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen remain, and the Blue Window, where the link between the Mother of Dragons and Khal Drogo took place. However, this last corner no longer exists.
In addition to these great productions, the capital of Malta, listed as a World Heritage Site, was also the scene of scenes from World War Z, a film starring Brad Pitt and released in 2013. We can’t forget either The spy who loved me, with James Bond as the protagonist, the Oscar winner Gladiator or The island of severed heads, among other productions.