Meeting Location

The 2006 meeting of the ESF Research Networking Programme EIPAM will be held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, Malta.


The building was originally the hospital or "Sacra Infermeria" of the Order of St John. It was constructed in 1574 under Grand Master Jean de la Cassiere and achieved fame as one of the foremost hospitals of the period in Europe. Food was served by the Knights themselves on silver plates, specimens of which, together with ceramic pharmacy jars, may be seen at the National Museum of Fine Arts. The restoration and conversion of this edifice into a first-call conference centre in 1976 won the "Europa Nostra Award" for Malta. The Exhibition Hall, formerly the Great Ward of the hospital, which measures 161 meters long, is believed to be one of the longest halls in Europe. The main conference hall, seating 1,400 people was destroyed by fire in 1987 and has since been rebuilt.

Local Currency

The Currency on Malta is the Maltese Pound Liri - abbreviated as the LM.

Each Maltese Liri is divided into 100 cents.

At present : 1 Maltese Lm = 2.33 Euros or 1.60 UK pounds or 2.80 US dollars

Valletta – The fortress City of The Mediterranean

Set at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Valletta is one of the best preserved fortified cities in the world and one of the architectural showpieces of Europe. It was built by the Knights of St John immediately after the Great Siege of 1565, during which the vastly outnumbered knights turned back the might of the hitherto invincible Ottoman Empire and thus arguably saved Western Europe. Riches poured into Malta from grateful courts across the continent and much of this went into constructing the new city. The Turks never returned but in 1942 Malta once again took a fearful pounding from a vastly superior force – the German Luftwaffe. Once again it held firm and thus helped shape world events for a second time in its history.

As cities go, Valletta is minute. It measures less than one square kilometre and you can walk across its widest point in less than 20 minutes. Within that space, however, shady atmospheric alleyways link grand squares, and glorious Baroque palazzi sit alongside bars and shop fronts that have hardly changed in over a century. You’ll need good walking shoes and sturdy legs to explore as there are hundreds of steps and the only real way to get around is on foot. The city occupies a promontory, is enclosed by mighty bastions and curtain walls, and boasts magnificent sea views. In contrast to the tiny metropolis, Grand Harbour, until quite recently home to the British Navy, is the biggest, and arguably the most impressive harbour in all the Mediterranean.