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.more
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...more
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.more
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!more
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...more
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).more
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...more
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...more
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...more
The two temples of Ggantija are erected side by side on the Xaghra plateau, on Gozo Island.
The site can be reached either by car or by bus (no. 64 and 65).
Gozo's honey is also renowned and the ones that want to bring something specific back home can buy thyme honey or Carob syrup from the peddlers displaying their products near the temples.Another tasty attraction is the prickly pear, the fruit of the cactus plant, which for a couple of liras can be also bought from these sellers.more
All over the Maltese islands, many mysterious temples were built thousands of years ago.
The plans of the Maltese Neolithic temples are based on a forecourt in front of a concave facade, a trilithon doorway leading to a central paved corridor from which semicircular rooms open on both sides.
Made using huge stone blocks in a period when no metal tools existed, the temples surprisingly survived until today when their gigantic structures can be still visited in Ggantija, Hagar Qim, Mnajdra, Tarxien and the underground Hypogeum at Hal Saflieni.
Built in the honor of the Mother-Goddess of fertility, the temples seem to be the result of a superhuman effort.
From the temples plateau, there is a magnificent view of the surroundings up to the lovely village of Xewkija, the oldest in Gozo, situated between Ghajnsielem and the capital town, Victoria.
Xewkija's distinctive landmark is the awesome Rotunda, the parish church dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
In Maltese, Ggantija means "belonging to the giants".A local legend is saying that a giant called Sansuna carried the stones to build the temples on her head from a site located far way.And it seems that the work of the giant was so good that the temples survived extraordinarily well and the walls in places still stand to a height of 7 meters.more