Israel and Malta joint stamp

A stamp celebrating 50 years of Israel-Malta relations.

The article gives a nice backgroud to the link between the 2 countries

The Order of the Knights Hospitallers was founded in Jerusalem in the 12th century and established its center south of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. During the Crusader period the knights, who were also known as the Order of the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, were tasked with aiding Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land by providing protection and medical services. After the defeat of the Crusaders at the 1187 Battle of Hattin, the Hospitallers retreated to Acre where they built halls and community centers, some of which are still standing today.

In the later Middle Ages, facing the advancing Muslim armies, the Hospitallers were forced out of Acre and were granted the island of Malta by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, founding their own state on the island with its capital at Valletta. The Hospitallers built a hospital overlooking the port of Valletta. The surviving building is now used as a conference center.

An interesting website on the Jewish community of Malta is here


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