The megalithic temples in Malta are unique in terms of their apsidal design. The earliest temples date to more than 5,000 years ago. With 'altars,' megalithic trilithon entrance ways, 'fat lady' statues and many other enigmatic features, the temples are full of mystery. Some of the best preserved ones are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Considering the small size of the islands, the number of temples is astounding and there used to be many more.
Ħaġar Qim is the only existing temple in Malta to have a front and back entrance. The complex consists of three temples and other structures.
This impressive dolmen is south of the Ħal Far industrial estate but isn't easy to find. GPS coords below.
This may be a collapsed dolmen or a natural feature and is located in the village of Xagħra on Gozo.
Small and very hard to find, this dolmen is in the Ta' Blankas olive grove in Xewkija not far from the cart ruts.
Dolmens are mysterious megalithic structures that can be found all over the world. Their forms and sizes vary, but they mostly consist of one huge horizontal capstone being placed on two vertical uprights. They are thought to be burial sites, but skeletal and cremation remains are rarely found under them. Some dolmens date to as early as the Neolithic, whilst others are Bronze Age.
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The most intact dolmen on the cliffs in Sannat. The Ta' Blankas olive grove can be seen in the distance.
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This dolmen appears to be partially collapsed. Temple remains and cart ruts are also in the area.
These huge dolmens with megaliths nearby are located in Mosta with incredible views out to the sea.
Menhirs are found all over the world. Some stand alone, others form part of stone circles, rows and other shapes. In Malta it's thought they may have once belonged to megalithic temples or other Neolithic buildings. Alternatively they may have been built during the later Bronze Age. The purpose of menhirs isn't known, but theories vary from them having been used for astronomical alignments or as boundary markers between different villages. This section also features scattered megaliths which must have belonged to a building, but often the sites are too ruinous to provide any useful information.
This menhir in Qala is surrounded by houses but may have once been a part of a megalithic temple.
The cross etched into this menhir is recent but the menhir itself most likely dates to the temple period.
There are two menhirs in Xemxija close to what's thought could be unexcavated temple remains.
In between the airport and Gudja there are a few worked megalithic blocks at the side of the road.
On the outskirts of Għajnsielem are megalithic stones which look as though they made up a circle once.
Just north of the L-Imrejżbiet 'stone circle' in Għajnsielem are two megalithic walls in a farmer's field.
These blocks are now part of a rubble wall on the side of the Birkirkara bypass.
Next to the Ta' Għejżu cave in Xagħra and close to Ġgantija are various scattered megaliths.
Next to the huge dolmens in Mosta are several megaliths which may have been related to those structures once.
These parallel grooves cut into the limestone bedrock can be found in several countries but there is a huge concentration on Malta and Gozo. Although referred to as 'cart ruts' their original purpose is not know. No one theory explains all of their intriguing facets and variations. They cannot be dated conclusively but are thought to be Bronze Age or earlier. Some are deeply cut, others shallow. Some are on flat land, others on slopes. Some are singular, others in sets. Some are curved, others straight. They are quite the mystery.
Here several cart ruts are protected in the middle of a built-up area in the Ta' Mensija part of San Ġwann.
This cart rut is located in the grounds of the Mater Dei hospital, protected by a wall. There's no signpost.
In the Harq Ħamiem valley near St. George's Bay are several cart ruts, overgrown with vegetation.
Out of the many in Mosta, this one is very clear. It's on the slope near the Ġnien l-Għarusa.
This cart rut can be found in Jules Verne Street and looks as though it was part of the set at the Naxxar Gap.
A huge array of complex cart ruts are on Sir Harry Luke Street just north of Mġarr on the way to Golden Bay.
This clearly defined cart rut is part of the Xemxija heritage trail which also includes tombs and megaliths.
In the grounds of the Ghar Dalam cave museum is this single cart rut overlooking the gardens.
The famous 'Clapham Junction' cart ruts are an extensive set of interweaving tracks near the Buskett Gardens.
This cart rut is right on the hill above the inland sea. There are others in the area but these are hard to find.
A puzzling 'double-rutted' version running north-west to south-east is in the Ta' Blankas olive grove.
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The plateau has several. This one is cut off by a modern path and continues on the other side of it.
Extensive cart ruts in the Tal-Wej area of Mosta. Could once have been joined to the Naxxar set to the northeast.
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Another cart rut on the cliffs not far from the dolmens and the remains of a temple.
These are much shallower than the ones to the south in the same olive grove. They're also not 'double-rutted.'
A double-rutted example on Limiti tal-Għajn il-Kbira. There is another single one that crosses it at 45 degrees.
This 'cart rut' is on the junction of Triq San Lawrenz ta' l-Gholja and Triq ta' Cens Mota.
This 'cart rut' runs under the water at St. George's Bay and apparently used to come out the other side.