Ggantija Things to Do

  • Altar inside the temples
    Altar inside the temples
    by Diana75
  • Ggantija megalithic complex
    Ggantija megalithic complex
    by Diana75
  • Ggantija megalithic complex facade
    Ggantija megalithic complex facade
    by Diana75

Most Recent Things to Do in Ggantija

  • ggantija and other temples

    by karinvanduin Written May 2, 2010

    Defenatly have look at at ggantija when you have the chance! Amazing temple, even older than Stonehnge!

    Have a look at this website I found for more photo's and info on ggantija and other neolithic temples in Gozo and Malta.

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    The North cave

    by Diana75 Written Oct 12, 2006

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    Across the road to the north, a natural cave was discovered in 1949.

    It is supposed that the cave was originally a rock-cut tomb, but it might also have served as temple refuse.

    Inside a great quantity of broken pottery of the Tarxien phase, but also fragments of a human skull and some animal bones have been found.

    The North cave The North cave
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    Rituals in the temples

    by Diana75 Written Oct 12, 2006

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    Many of the signs left in the temples suggest that rituals of life and fertility have been practiced here.

    It is said that the huge stone block which can be seen at the entrance in the southern temple was used for animal purification rituals before entering the temple.

    The inner rooms of the temple were used by the priests, while the others would have gathered outside the temples walls.

    Ggantija Temples Ggantija Temples ritual stone
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    The round stones

    by Diana75 Written Oct 12, 2006

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    At the entrance of the southern temple, small, spherical stones, discovered in the temples, are displayed.

    It is believed that these were used as ball bearings to transport the enormous stone blocks required for the temples' construction.

    The round stones The round stones
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    Wall holes

    by Diana75 Written Oct 12, 2006

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    Round holes can be seen both in the walls and in the paving slabs, especially in the southern temple.

    Those in the paving slabs were made in order to allow liquid offerings to pass through to the underworld.

    Those in the walls were made in order to hold screens or bars to close off access.

    Wall hole Hole in the paving slabs Wall hole Hole in the paving slabs
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    The walls

    by Diana75 Written Oct 12, 2006

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    As the boundary wall, the temples walls are not less impressive: the largest megaliths are round six by four meters.

    The internal walls were made of coralline limestone rubble, covered in plaster.

    The form of the walls suggests that the whole structure was once roofed.

    Second temple inner walls Temples walls
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    The southern temple

    by Diana75 Written Oct 12, 2006

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    The first temple of the two, the southern one, is larger, older and more extensive.

    Rising at a height of six meters, the five apses of the temple contain also numerous altars, relief carvings and wall holes.

    Recent calculations have suggested that the south temple would have taken some 15 000 man/days to construct!

    The southern temple entrance The southern temple altar The southern temple apse
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    The boundary wall

    by Diana75 Written Oct 12, 2006

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    The boundary wall is the most remarkable feature of the complex.

    Some of the blocks have even five meters in length and weight over fifty tons.

    It seems that the wall was built using the alternating header and stretcher technique.

    The boundary wall The boundary wall
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    The two temples

    by Diana75 Written Oct 12, 2006

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    The two cloverleaf-shaped temples are sharing the same facade.

    Each of them was built as a series of semi-circular apses connected with a hall in the center.

    According to the archaeologists, the apses were originally covered by masonry domes.

    Ggantija complex facade The entrance to the southern temple The entrance to the second temple
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    Ggantija megalithic complex

    by Diana75 Written Oct 12, 2006

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    Excavated between 1816 and 1820, the complex comprises two Neolithic temples dating from the third millennium BC (3600 to 3000 BC).

    The temples are built with rough, coralline limestone blocks and contain five apses connected by a central corridor.

    The stone slabs weigh several tons and the outside walls are up to six meters high and this is really impressive considering that the temples have been constructed in a period when no metal tools were available and the wheel didn't exist.

    Ggantija megalithic complex Ggantija megalithic complex facade Ggantija megalithic complex
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    Ggantija Temple Site

    by steventilly Updated Jul 16, 2004

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    The site is quite attractively landscaped with palms and shrubs and one or two boards showing a ground plan of the site. From the grounds you can take a look out across the southern plains of Gozo (see next tip) and from here you can also walk into the town of Xaghra, which is a lovely town with some other attractions of its own (see Xaghra page).

    Ggantija Temples, Xaghra, Gozo

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    Ggantija Temples

    by steventilly Updated Jul 16, 2004

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    There's little to help you with interpretation, a point that is made in my guide book and then it itself does little to to help you with interpretation, though it does offer a little description of the two temples (north and south). The best you can do is look and marvel at it, though even this would be better achieved from some aerial viewpoint where you can better appreciate the clover-leaf formation of the temples.

    Ggantija Temples, Xaghra, Gozo

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    Ggantija Temples

    by steventilly Updated Jul 16, 2004

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    The guide book describes these temples as being "colossal" but to be honest if they really meant "huge" then I would be disappointed. They're by no means huge (not like the Pyramids), though despite this they are mightily impressive.
    They are the oldest man-made structures in the world, dating from 3600BC and their discovery has given a great deal of insight into neolithic culture.

    Ggantija Temples, Xaghra, Gozo

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    Views Across Gozo

    by steventilly Written Jul 14, 2004

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    You get great views from the temple site out across the southern plains of Gozo and on to the coast beyond. Most prominent is the church in the town of Xewkija. This church is simply immense, see how it towers over the town and notice its size compared to the "normal"! church in the bottom left of the picture, which is some 2km nearer! See the Xewkija page for more about the church.

    Xewkija, Gozo

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    Discoveries in the temples

    by Diana75 Written Oct 12, 2006

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    Pottery, vases and statuettes (two carved heads and a snake in relief) found during the 1827 excavations are now displayed in the Gozo Museum of Archaeology.

    Ggantija temples Entrance to the temples
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Ggantija Things to Do

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