The three islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily and east of the Tunesian coastline and though their history of years it continues to throw magical spell on visitors
There are various megalithic monuments located on Malta, from 4000 BC. The buildings are unique in style and the builders are unknown.
Malta is by far is the biggest of the three islands: The eastern part of the island has the megalithic monuments of Tarxien, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. The most northern is Tarxien, a vast temple complex that has become surrounded by a modern town. Next to the old temple rises a modern church, as if underlining that what was once sacred still is.
The megalithic “church” consists out of a series of oval-shaped “chapels” – typical for the Maltese temple structure.
The temple of Tarxien is unique. Archaeological suggest that water must have played an important role and it is more likely that the role of the spring and its water was spiritual, rather than economic.
Better known is the subterranean chamber complex nearby: the famous Hypogeum, it is here that the remains of no less than 7000 people were discovered. Archaeologists believe that remains an open question. Was the Hypogeum a temple of the dead, a cemetery? Certain finds inside do suggest that rituals were held inside the complex.
The sites are located in the middle of a modern town, which makes it difficult to imagine the temples
in a more original setting. But that setting can be perceived in the southern parts of Malta.
On a slope near the coastline are the temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra.
It is perhaps this natural wonder that might explain the presence nearby of the temple complex, as it is located at a mere few hundred meters.
Hagar Qim is the most impressive of all Maltese monuments. That was used to join the stones can be compared with the employed in the Valley Temple, next to the Sphinx, at Giza (Egypt), where the builders equally carved out massive stones and placed together as if it was the easiest job in the world.
But it is only the massive size of the stones that makes that comparison and both sites have their own unique design and decoration. Still, as we know, that the Hagar Qim monument predates the Valley Temple with many centuries… could this Maltese knowledge of working with giant stones have made it into Egypt?
The island of Gozo has a megalithic temple: Ggantija. The name is from local folklore, which says that only giants (gigantes) would have been able to construct this.
In Greek mythology, Gozo was the island where the nymph Calypso held Odysseus imprisoned for no less than 7 years. Her cave is located near the temple, with the cave giving one of the most stunning view of the most famous sandy beach of the island. If Odysseus was indeed imprisoned here, the view from his prison window was excellent.