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Ħaġar Qim

Listed under Ruined Temples in Malta.

  • Photo of Ħaġar Qim
  • Photo of Ħaġar Qim
  • Photo of Ħaġar Qim
  • Photo of Ħaġar Qim
  • Photo of Ħaġar Qim
Photo of Ħaġar Qim
Photo by flickr user travellingred
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For such a small island, Malta has acres of history to show for itself, much of it showing though only a thin layer of soil or else in scattered ruins. This megalithic limestone temple complex is one of four major sites on the island, and the best preserved, sitting on a ridge of limestone. Three main temples make up Ħaġar Qim with three more megalithic structures beside it. The ruins on the northern side are the oldest but the main temple is dated to between 3600 and 3200 BC and follows the same basic designs of the other temples, featuring oval shaped rooms and semi circular recesses. From above the temple’s interior follows a clover leaf design but with five leaves. The right apse has an inner interior which may have been for sacrificial preparations, and the left has three high table altars.

One of the really impressive features of Ħaġar Qim is the 57 tonne upright stone standing 5.2 metres high on the southern wall - an important part of the temple’s design rather than just purely decorative. But like the huge slabs of Stonehenge the question is how did it get here.

Though sacrifices seemed to be the order of the day they were animal rather than human – lots of animal bones have been uncovered here but no human remains

The Mnajdra temple is only 500 metres away.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

Other expert and press reviews

“Malta's Megalithic Temples”

'Seven megalithic temples are found on the islands of Malta and Gozo, each the result of an individual development. The two temples of Ggantija on the island of Gozo are notable for their gigantic Bronze Age structures. On the island of Malta, the templ… Read more...

Written by press. UNESCO

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Megalithic Temples of Malta

Malta's seven megalithic temples of date back to around 4000BC and, though older than the pyramids, a noticeable architectural style and building tradition is clearly visible at the Mnajdra and Hagar Qin temples, and painted ochre patterns can even be seen at the temples of Tarxien. Local legend tells that the largest, the Ggantija, were built by a giantess, inspired with the spirit of the mother goddess, and given their scale, it is hard to imagine otherwise. Collectively, they are in fact the oldest known free-standing buildings in the world, and their powerful, ancient air is heightened by the presence of the remains of huge goddess statues and symbolic carvings and motifs.

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