Xewkija Things to Do

  • Xewkija Rotunda from far away
    Xewkija Rotunda from far away
    by Diana75
  • Xewkija - the church square
    Xewkija - the church square
    by Diana75
  • The Rotunda
    The Rotunda
    by Diana75

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    Treasures of the old church

    by Diana75 Written Dec 3, 2006

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    The Adoration of the
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    One of the most beautiful works of the old church is the apse representing the Adoration of the "Lamb" according to St John's Apocalypse.

    The main paintings is attributed to Mattia Preti or to one of his students, while the two lateral paintings were made by the Maltese artist

    Francesco Zahra and represents the announcement of the Birth of St John the Baptist and Mary's visit to Elizabeth.

    Others works from the old church presented are the sculptured tabernacle, the paintings with carved frames, the stone altar or the wooden bust of Jesus of Nazareth carved by Mariano Gerada.

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    The Museum of Sculpture

    by Diana75 Written Dec 3, 2006

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    The Museum of Sculpture
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    A short time before the Rotunda was completed, the old church was carefully dismantled, and the best parts of it were delicately rebuilt next to the church.

    The initial idea was to demolish the old church so that the people could use the new Rotunda. But these fantastic works of art couldn't be lost.

    The museum gives everyone the occasion to discover the incredible and delicate "laceworks" on Maltese stone.

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    The paintings in the church

    by Diana75 Written Dec 3, 2006

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    The beheading of St John

    Each of the side chapels of the Rotunda is decorated with beautiful paintings made by Chev. Paul Camilleri Cauchi.

    Among these paintings we can count: The Vision of Zachariah, The Birth of St John, St John Preaching "Behold the Lamb of God" or The beheading of St John.

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    The old Baptismal font

    by Diana75 Written Dec 3, 2006

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    The old Baptismal font

    Symmetrical to the above described Altar of the Blessed Sacrament, on the right side of the Main Altar is another beautiful chapel.

    The main piece of the chapel no.4 is the Baptismal font dating from 1740.

    Above the font is a picture of St. John baptizing Jesus Christ.

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    The Altar of the Blessed Sacrament

    by Diana75 Written Dec 3, 2006

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    The Altar of the Blessed Sacrament

    Located on the left side of the church, looking the Main Altar, the Altar of the Blessed Sacrament is dating from the 17th century.

    Its main attraction is the tabernacle, which once belonged to Mdina Cathedral and was donated to the church by the Bishop M.G. Molina on the erection of the parish in 1678.

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    The Main Altar

    by Diana75 Written Dec 3, 2006

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    Rotunda's Main Altar
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    Rotunda's Main Altar was carved in Carrara marble at the Ceccotti Factory in Italy.

    In the center of the altar is the Immaculate Lamb with angels on each side and surrounded in the corners by the four Evangelists made of bronze.

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    The dome

    by Diana75 Written Dec 3, 2006

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    Rotunda's dome
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    As in the case of the homonym Rotunda of Mosta, the impressive dome is the one that is giving the name of the church – the Rotunda.

    The internal diameter of the dome is 24.5m, while the external one is of 27m, which a height of 75m from the church floor.

    The dome is supported by eight columns 13.5m high and has a total weight of 45,000 tones.

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    Statue of St. John

    by Diana75 Written Dec 3, 2006

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    The statue of Xewkija's Patron Saint

    The statue of Xewkija's Patron Saint was made in mulberry wood by the Maltese sculptor Paul Azzopardi of Cospicua in 1845.

    As in most of Malta's town, with the occasion of Xewkija's feast, the statue is brought on shoulders around the streets of the village in the procession usually held on the third Sunday of June.

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    The Rotunda – inside

    by Diana75 Written Dec 3, 2006

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    The Rotunda - right side
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    Once you enter the Rotunda you cannot stop being amazed about its beauty. Made of honey-colored Malta limestone, inside the Rotunda is 64m long and 43m wide.

    The fantastic dome with an outer circumference of 85m is supported by 8 columns, while the church has 16 large windows in the lower section and another 16 in the lantern.

    The Main Altar is surrounded by 6 side chapels designed by Guze' Galea of Malta with beautiful carvings of Anthony Camilleri and paintings of the young Gozitan artist Paul Camilleri Cauchi.

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    The Rotunda – outside

    by Diana75 Written Dec 3, 2006

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    The Rotunda facade
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    Getting closer to Xewkija from Mgarr Harbor, a wonderful view of the church was displayed to our eyes.

    The enormous circular structure in white local limestone, it is called Rotunda because of its form.

    The facade resembles to the famous Basilica of Santa Maria Della Salute in Venice, which inspired its architect, Joseph D'Amato.

    Four columns and four niches with statues on two levels flank the main entrance door, which is 10m high by 4.8m wide.

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    Fund raising for the new church

    by Diana75 Written Dec 3, 2006

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    Entering the Rotunda

    For the works to the new church many donations were offered, and free labor by the people was forthcoming all the time.

    Eight persons offered LM 500- each for the eight columns, which support the dome.

    Together with the local priests, the Archpriest Joseph Grech made door-to-door collections every week since 1952.

    Two fairs were held annually and rabbits, hens, cocks and eggs donated by the parishioners were auctioned.

    These impressive efforts enabled the enormous structure to rise higher year by year until in 1978.

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    Xewkija's new church

    by Diana75 Written Dec 3, 2006

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    The Rotunda

    With the growth of Xewkija's population, the need for a new, larger church was felt.

    The works to the foundations of the new church started at the end of 1951, but the old church of St. John was left in place and continued to function as before until the new building was completed.

    After twenty years of hard work the new monumental church was ready.

    A short time before the Rotunda was completed, the old church was carefully dismantled, and the best parts of it were delicately rebuilt next to the church.

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    Xewkija - the village

    by Diana75 Written Dec 3, 2006

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    Xewkija Rotunda from far away
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    Xewkija is considered the oldest village in Gozo. As a confirmation of this statement, more than 350 years ago, ruins of a megalithic temple dedicated to the goddess of fertility were excavated here.

    The coat-of-arms of Xewkija consists of a gold and red bar in the center of the shield, in the upper and lower halves of which there are two thorn blossoms.

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Xewkija Things to Do

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