Valletta is the capital city of Malta, colloquially known as Il-Belt (The City) in Maltese. Geographically, it is located in the South Eastern Region, in the central-eastern portion of the main island of Malta having its western coast with access to the Marsamxett Harbour and its eastern coast in the Grand Harbour. The historical city has a population of 6,444 as of March 2014, while the metropolitan area around it has a population of 393,938. Valletta is the southernmost capital of Europe, and the second southernmost capital of the European Union after Nicosia in Cyprus.
Valletta contains buildings from the 16th century onwards, built during the rule of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, also known as Knights Hospitaller. The city is essentially Baroque in character, with elements of Mannerist, Neo-Classical and Modern architecture in selected areas, though World War II left major scars on the city, particularly the destruction of The Royal Opera House. The City of Valletta was officially recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980.