Valletta © Frank Vincentz
A dramatic presentation that illustrates the history of Malta, from Neolithic to modern times, can be enjoyed at the Mediterranean Conference Centre at St Elmo's bastion in Valletta. The building itself has been impressively restored, having been built by the Knights in the 1500s as a hospital. The wards, which are great sweeping halls with vaulted ceilings and marble floors, now serve as exhibition areas. A modern theatre has been added where the Malta Experience audio-visual show is offered in 17 different languages. The show is a sweeping expose of 7,000 years of history covering the original stone-age inhabitants, the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Knights of St John and the nation's modern history. It is as entertaining as it is educational. In fact, the Malta Experience is a great way to begin a holiday in Malta as it provides an overview of the archipelagos' dramatic history which greatly enriches the sightseeing to come, particularly as not all of the impressive ancient sites on the islands are provided with detailed information for tourists. The documentary also offers great insight into the Maltese culture and people. The show is immensely popular and more than four million visitors have seen it since its opening; it is about 45 minutes long.