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Temples

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. 

 
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ĦAĠAR QIM

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. 

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MNAJDRA

500m away from Ħaġar Qim is Mnajdra, a complex of three temples surrounding a forecourt with a few other scattered megaliths.

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TA' ĦAĠRAT

Close to Skorba, Ta' Ħaġrat consists of two temples in the village of Mġarr. The trilithon entrance remains in the oldest temple on the site. 

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SKORBA

Skorba was a complex of two temples, a trefoil one and a later four-apse-plus-niche structure.  

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TAL-QADI

Little remains of this temple which is near Salina Bay. During excavations the 'sky tablet' was found here. 

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BORĠ IN-NADUR

A temple followed by a Bronze Age defended village make this a confusing but impressive site.

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BUĠIBBA

In the grounds of the Dolmen Hotel are the remains of a trefoil temple. The entrance is a partial reconstruction.

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ĠGANTIJA

The oldest temples in Malta consist of one five apse building and a later four-apse-plus-niche structure.

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SANTA VERNA

Little remains of this temple on the Xagħra plateau close to the Xagħra Stone Circle and Ġgantija. 

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TAS-SILĠ

A multi-period archaeological excavation site that may have had four temples in the Neolithic period.

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KORDIN III

This Ġgantija phase temple has a trefoil layout with a lobed structure joined to it and faces south east. 

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BORĠ l-IMRAMMA

A ruinous site on Ta' Ċenċ Cliffs in Gozo about 500m south of the dolmens. Only a few scattered blocks remain.

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TARXIEN

There are the remains of four temples at Tarxien. A site, that was reused during the Bronze Age as a cemetery.

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XROBB l-GĦAĠIN

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ĦAL SAFLIENI

Hypogeum which was used for both burials and rituals during the time it was active. 

Dolmens

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WIED ŻNUBER

This impressive dolmen is south of the Ħal Far industrial estate but isn't easy to find. GPS coords below. 

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TA' SANSUNA

This may be a collapsed dolmen or a natural feature and is located in the village of Xagħra on Gozo. 

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TA' BLANKAS

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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TA' ĊENĊ A

The most intact dolmen on the cliffs in Sannat. The Ta' Blankas olive grove can be seen in the distance. 

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TA' ĊENĊ B

This dolmen appears to be partially collapsed. Temple remains and cart ruts are also in the area. 

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WIED FILEP

These huge dolmens with megaliths nearby are located in Mosta with incredible views out to the sea.

Menhirs

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.

 
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QALA

This menhir in Qala is surrounded by houses but may have once been a part of a megalithic temple. 

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KIRKOP

The cross etched into this menhir is recent but the menhir itself most likely dates to the temple period. 

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XEMXIJA

There are two menhirs in Xemxija close to what's thought could be unexcavated temple remains. 

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ĦAL RESQUN

In between the airport and Gudja there are a few worked megalithic blocks at the side of the road.

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L-IMREJŻBIET

On the outskirts of Għajnsielem are megalithic stones which look as though they made up a circle once. 

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BORĠ IL-GĦARIB

Just north of the L-Imrejżbiet 'stone circle' in Għajnsielem are two megalithic walls in a farmer's field. 

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TAR-RADDIENA

These blocks are now part of a rubble wall on the side of the Birkirkara bypass. 

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XAGĦRA

Next to the Ta' Għejżu cave in Xagħra and close to Ġgantija are various scattered megaliths.

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WIED FILEP

Next to the huge dolmens in Mosta are several megaliths which may have been related to those structures once. 

Cart Ruts

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. 

 
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SAN ĠWANN

Here several cart ruts are protected in the middle of a built-up area in the Ta' Mensija part of San Ġwann.

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MSIDA

This cart rut is located in the grounds of the Mater Dei hospital, protected by a wall. There's no signpost. 

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HARQ ĦAMIEM

In the Harq Ħamiem valley near St. George's Bay are several cart ruts, overgrown with vegetation. 

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MOSTA A 

Out of the many in Mosta, this one is very clear. It's on the slope near the Ġnien l-Għarusa. 

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NAXXAR

This cart rut can be found in Jules Verne Street and looks as though it was part of the set at the Naxxar Gap.

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MĠARR

A huge array of complex cart ruts are on Sir Harry Luke Street just north of Mġarr on the way to Golden Bay. 

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XEMXIJA

This clearly defined cart rut is part of the Xemxija heritage trail which also includes tombs and megaliths.

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GĦAR DALAM

In the grounds of the Ghar Dalam cave museum is this single cart rut overlooking the gardens.

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BUSKETT

The famous 'Clapham Junction' cart ruts are an extensive set of interweaving tracks near the Buskett Gardens.

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DWEJRA

This cart rut is right on the hill above the inland sea. There are others in the area but these are hard to find. 

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XEWKIJA A

A puzzling 'double-rutted' version running north-west to south-east is in the Ta' Blankas olive grove.

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TA' ĊENĊ A

The plateau has several. This one is cut off by a modern path and continues on the other side of it. 

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TAL-WEJ

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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TA' ĊENĊ B

Another cart rut on the cliffs not far from the dolmens and the remains of a temple. 

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XEWKIJA B

These are much shallower than the ones to the south in the same olive grove. They're also not 'double-rutted.'

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SIĠĠIEWI A

A double-rutted example on Limiti tal-Għajn il-Kbira. There is another single one that crosses it at 45 degrees.

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SIĠĠIEWI B

This 'cart rut' is on the junction of Triq San Lawrenz ta' l-Gholja and Triq ta' Cens Mota.

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BIRŻEBBUĠA

This 'cart rut' runs under the water at St. George's Bay and apparently used to come out the other side.