Top UNESCO Site in Gozo

May 3, 2018

It’s marked among the oldest structures in the world, but does everyone know that this mega-monument is on the island of Gozo?

If you visit the Maltese islands and you do not check it out, it’s like you’ve been to Egypt without checking out the Pyramids. The structures, which are found in the village of Xagħra are remarkable for several reasons.

1. This is a site that has withstood the test of time. Ġgantija Temples actually consists of 2 temples next to each other. The Temples face the south-east, and also Nuffara Hill which is a location of a Bronze Age settlement in Gozo.

2. The temples are built from mega boulders weighing several tonnes each. When one thinks of their construction, one understands the feat that was involved in the erection of such an edifice.

‘Ggantija’ the name for these complex of temples, can be translated to English as the place of giants. Before the development of geology and the study of evolution many scholars believed that the world was roamed by giants, cyclops and nymphs, and it was believed that the Ggantija temples hosted them. The whole complex consists of two temples, and these two temples are believed to have been built in the same period named as the Ggantija phase between 3600-3000BC. What is special about Ggantija is that these temples have megaliths which have been built up to a height of 10metres, and in this matter Ggantija dwarfs the other Maltese temples. In style the two temples are extremely close in design and they also share many common engineering solutions and a common use of the external wall, and due to this one can assume that two separate temples might have been built by the same peoples due to the similar built and the exact technology used. The complex attracted several foreigners to Malta in the past as it still currently does now, and due to this 19th century illustrated or written documents can give us an insight of how the temples looked around 200 years ago. For example, de Brochtorff’s drawings (after 1828) show a representation of an elaborate altar which no longer seems to exist. Unfortunately, no written records of the Ggantija earlier excavations were found which shroud the place in even more mystery. Photo credits: https://www.tvm.com.mt/en/news/couple-caught-etching-their-names-and-love-messages-on-ggantija-temples/ Source of information: Malta Before History – edited by Daniel Cilia #malta #lovemalta #lovinmalta #history #maltahistory #maltalovers #visitmalta #from_malta #historyinimages #historyinpix #historyinpictures #knowhistory #knowyourhistory #learnyourhistory #throwback #antique #antiquity #before #past #old #ancient #culture #malteseculture #unesco #ggantija #temple #heritagemalta #gozo

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3. The temples are believed to have been part of a ceremonial site associated with fertility rites and in fact, many think that they were dedicated to the goddess of fertility.

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4. Ġgantija Temples also feature a visitors centre that exhibits many interesting artefacts. From jewellery to pottery, this is a truly fascinating window on the Neolithic life.

And then beyond this UNESCO site, we cannot avoid mentioning the Citadel, which although not listed as UNESCO World Heritage site, is beyond doubt a unique landmark and treasure to the island of Gozo and all those who visit it!

 

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