Valetta, since 1570 the chief town of Malta, on the NE. side of the island. It occupies a rocky tongue of land over 3000 yards long, on either side of which are two noble harbours, and is defended by fortifications of great strength, many of them hewn out of the solid rock. Noteworthy are the governor's palace - formerly that of the Grand-masters of the order of St John - plain without, but magnificent within; the superb cathedral; and the church of San Pubblio, with its famed sotteraneo ('vault') of embalmed monks and skeletons; the public library of 60,000 vols.; the university; the aqueduct, which brings water 8 3/4 miles from the far side of the island; and many of the palazzi of the Maltese nobles. There is a railway to Rabat in the interior. Valetta, though much earlier than his date, was named after the Grand-master La Valette. Pop. of Valetta with Floriana and Sliema suburbs, about 40,000; of the other 'three cities' or suburbs of Senglea, Cospicua, and Vittoriosa, 26,700; total, 66,700.