The Maltese islands are densely populated. With a quick look at the landscape one
immediately realises that one village almost blends into another. Presently the
Maltese population amounts to circa 370 thousand. By world standards Malta is infinitely
small - it seems to be just a very small city. However this must be considered in
ratio to the islands’ size. Open spaces are extremely rare and green areas even
There are 67 villages which have a local council; 53 in Malta and 14 in Gozo.
The villages have a very distinct and pleasant feature. The old villages have a baroque church built in their centres. The parish church occupies a central and dominant position in the structure of old villages such as Tarxien, Gudja, Dingli, Zejtun and Ghaxaq.
This bears witness to the great devotion that the Maltese have had for the Roman Catholic religion and the important place religion is given in the life of the Maltese.
The baroque style of architecture was predominant after the Renaissance.
The baroque is a grandiose style and it aims to emphasise man’s smallness in relation to authority. This explains the spacious halls, enormous windows and entrances of the Knights’ auberges in Valletta.
In the villages the parish churches’ baroque architecture contrasts strikingly with the flat roof tops of the other buildings. The village architecture is reminiscent of buildings in North African countries where the climate and weather is similar.