Paul and I talked often about going to Malta and Gozo. Now, Paul has been before yet I haven’t. And, he had been talking it up so much I was dying to go!
But, years passed and we still hadn’t made the trip over. So, one day we decided to bite the bullet and book a one-way business class fare to Malta. Needless to say, it was excitement plus for our trip to Malta.
So, while the Emirates business class flights to Malta were very good… we were keen to see the sights. Thus, one of the things on our list of things to do, was to see a few of the Megalithic Temples of Malta and Gozo.
What Are The Megalithic Temples Of Malta?
The Megalithic Temples of Malta include Ħaġar Qim, Mnajdra, Tarxien, Skorba, and Ta’ Ħaġrat in Malta. Plus, on the island of Gozo is the Ġgantija Temples. These incredible structures date back as far as the 3600BC era.
In fact, they were once the oldest freestanding stone buildings known to man… until Göbekli Tepe was discovered in 1994.
Plus, what makes these temples so amazing, is the sheer size of some of the limestone blocks… which are HUGE! Were there giants back in the day? Were there animals or beasts that played a huge part in the movement of these stone blocks?
And, it makes us wonder how the hell these structures were built… considering they didn’t have the convenient and strong tools that we have today for construction.
Plus, when looking at some of the stones with their strange etchings, patterns and shapes… it makes us think why and how did they do all this?
Yet, their skill and ingenuity are clearly shown in the temples we see today. Plus, several of the megalithic temples are in the UNESCO World Heritage Listings.
So, needless to say… you’d have to agree that Megalithic Temples of Malta are masterpieces in their own right.
Now, let us take you through a few of these magnificent temples of Malta, with photos too.
Hagar Qim Temples Malta
The Hagar Qim Temples is in the Qrendi area of Malta. And, to get to this UNESCO World Heritage Listed site, Paul and I decided to take a bus. So, the bus stop we got off at was Hagar, which is a few hundred meters from the main entrance of the building…
Hagar Qim was discovered in the early 1800’s… and their findings date these temples back to around 3600 BC – 3200 BC. And, in the excavation of Hagar Qim, there were some interesting finds such as carvings and statues… including the Venus of Malta.
So, Paul and I arrived just before the opening time of 9am, and we could go in straight away.
There are signs directing where to go. Then, once we got to the main entrance to the Hagar Qim temples… there was a big gate and behind that a small booth with staff inside.
And, one of the first things we noticed was the huge dome above the temples, that we were assuming was to protect them. Plus, the area was roped off, so we could only wander the perimeter of the temple.
The Sun Shines Brightly…
So, the main structure of Hagar Qim includes a central building, where we could see the main doorway. And, this huge doorway was made up of the huge, thick limestone blocks I was mentioning earlier. Also, we could see right through to the rear of the temple area.
Yet, this “hole” has an historical important significance… where it was purposely done to align with the Summer Solstice sunrise.
So, on the first day of summer, when the sun is rising… the sun’s rays pass through this “hole” to illuminate a stone slab inside the temple. Thus, if you plan your timings right… you can view this phenomenon in guidance with Heritage Malta.
Then, as we were wandering through it was amazing to see the different “rooms.”
And, there were some stones that were as high as 5.2 meters tall, weighing in at around 200 tonnes!
So, some of the stones are man made replicas. Yet, if you want to see the original structure in all its glory… you can head on over the National Museum of Archaeology.
And, on the outside were areas, which still has remnants of more structures…
So, when we went to see the Hagar Qim Temples there was an Open Day, meaning that we could get in to see them for free. Otherwise, the cost to see this is 10 Euros per adult, which also includes the viewing of the Mnajdra Temples.
Depending on what time of year you go to Malta, there are various Open Days. So, these Open Days allow you to go to certain Heritage Malta sites for free. Thus, to find out when these Open Days are on, you can check on the Heritage Malta website HERE.
So, once we finished up seeing Hagar Qim… it was time to go see the next of the Megalithic Temples of Malta…
Mnajdra Temples Malta
The Hagar Qim temples are situated on a hilltop, and to get to the Mnajdra Temples it was about a 1 kilometer walk downhill…
Yet, we did notice that there was a buggy that would transport people up and down. So, if you’re mobility impaired best to ask about this service.
And, along the pathway to the Mnajdra Temples, to the left were views of the ocean and islet of Filfla…
Plus, along the way there are touristic signs describing the area… as well as for heritage trail walks within the vicinity.
Then, once we got to the main entrance, there was gate and a booth with staff behind it.
And, similar to Hagar Qim, the Mnajdra Temples were covered by a massive dome…
So, the Mnajdra Temples is another of the UNESCO World Heritage Listed sites in Malta.
And, these temples are made up of 3 buildings where the oldest structure dates back to 3600 BC – 3200 BC. The second structure, the South Temple, dates back to 3150 BC – 2500 BC. And, the third building is the youngest.
Yet, while there were roped off areas… with the Mnajdra Temples, we could go inside and have a closer look, which was awesome.
Giant-sized Limestone Blocks That Are Outta This World
Then, before going into the main structure, we again saw remnants of huge limestones.
And similar to Hagar Qim, the entrance had a huge doorway…
So, similar to the Hagar Qim Temples, in the South Temple… the doorway is aligned with the Summer and Winter Solstices, as well as the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes.
So, on the first day of these events the sun’s rays shine perfectly through. Makes you wonder what they knew back then!
Then from here, there were several other chambers inside…
And, on some of the stone blocks were indentations, which look like they were made by coins…
Check out these massive stone blocks…
So, having visiting Mnajdra and Hagar Qim… Paul and I agree that they are definitely worth visiting on your trip to Malta. Plus, they’re not that far from the Blue Grotto, which is simply breathtaking.
Another one of the Megalithic Temples of Malta that Paul and I visited was…
Tarxien Temples Malta
So, to get to the Tarxien Temples in Tarxien… Paul and I again chose to use the Malta public transport buses. Now, this ended up being a little more complex to navigate.
So, the bus stop we had planned to go to was, Neolitici. Yet, we soon discovered on our bus trip there that the route had changed because there were road works!
Thus, after asking the helpful bus driver, he told us to get off at Pjazza bus stop in Paola.
Then, we had to walk back a little way. And, along the route we noticed that there were signs along the way to point us to the Tarxien Temples. The signs looked like this…
Then, several hundred meters or so later we found it…
And, similar to the previous 2 megalithic temples of Malta, we were able to get in for free because of the Open Day. Plus, it is also another UNESCO World Heritage Listed site in Malta.
So, one of the main things that sets this temple apart from the others… is its wide variety of megalithic art. And, we’ll show you some of them soon.
Inside The Tarxien Temples
Yet, once inside the temple we immediately noticed that it was smaller in size, and again covered by a dome. But, elevated pathways have been constructed… so people can wander through and around the temples.
And, the strange thing was when we were walking through the Tarxien Temples… was that it was smack bang in the middle of a residential area!
It was said that these temples were discovered by local farmers in 1913. And, the four structures, which make up the Tarxien Temples… were constructed between 3600 BC and 2500 BC.
So, in the South Temple is a prominent statue resembling a large figure with a skirt. And, it was said that this figure is the goddess of fertility, who the Neolithic people worshiped.
Plus, chiseled into some of the stones are artwork, and pictures of various animals…
So as mentioned, we were able to get in free to see the temples, thanks to the Open Day. Yet, on a normal day the price to go see the Tarxien Temples is 9 Euros per adult.
Ggantija Temples Gozo
While the first 3 megalithic temples were in Malta… if Gozo is on your itinerary then you should go and see the Ġgantija Temples. And, these temples are more ancient than the Egyptian pyramids, dating back to between 3600 BC and 3200 BC.
This UNESCO World Heritage site is in the town of Xagħra. So, Paul and I decided to take the bus to get to the temples. And, the bus stop that we got off at using Route 322, was Bayer… which conveniently dropped us off right at the front door!
And, when we were there security was waiting (ha ha)…
Then, once inside we bought our tickets, which was 9 Euros for one adult. Plus, this ticket would give us entry into the Ta Kola Windmill, which is within easy walking distance.
So, as we were going through to see the temples, we discovered that there was a museum first. And, this museum gave a background and insight into the history of the Ġgantija Temples.
Plus, there were other artefacts that were on display too, as well as audio visual shows.
And after that, we followed the footprints on the floor that led us outside.
Then, after a few hundred meters walk or so, we had our first glimpse of the temples, which didn’t have a dome covering. Plus, the views from here were great!
Time To See The Giant!
So, the name Ġgantija is from the word ‘ġgant,” which in Maltese is the word for giant. Thus, the people of Gozo believed that the temples were built by giants.
And, when we had a look at the size of some of the limestone blocks, we could understand why they thought this…
Now, the Ġgantija Temples are made up of two temples, with a massive outer wall…
And, similar to the Tarxien Temples… there are elevated pathways so we could go through and see the temples more close up.
Then, as we wandered in through the main path, there were several smaller chambers…
And with that, it was the end of our temple sightseeing.
Now, about the prices, it’s best to check on the Heritage Malta site or enquire directly with them. And, that’s because prices may change, yet they may also have specials for families, for example.
If you’re planning on seeing many of the sites in Malta and Gozo… there’s the Heritage Malta Multisite Pass. And, this allows entry to 25 of selected Heritage Malta sites and museums… as well as the Malta National Aquarium and Citadel Visitor Centre.
Plus, when you have this pass, you can save 10% on selected purchases at any Heritage Malta museum shop. So, the adult price of this pass is 50 Euros.
To find out more about the Heritage Malta Multisite Pass, CLICK HERE.
So, this blog gave you an insight into some of the Megalithic Temples Of Malta And Gozo.
And, we believe that the photos don’t do them justice. So, to experience the enormity of these incredible structures, and appreciate what had been built thousands of years ago… you must visit the temples yourself!
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