World Reviewer rating

Worth a visit
Rating 0.7 (133 votes)


Listed under Tombs & Memorials in Malta.

  • Photo of Hypogeum
  • Photo of Hypogeum
  • Photo of Hypogeum
  • Photo of Hypogeum
  • Photo of Hypogeum
  • Photo of Hypogeum
  • Photo of Hypogeum
  • Photo of Hypogeum
Photo of Hypogeum
Photo by flickr user Boobooo
Pin It

Building temples into the ground sounds like hard work, which could be why this is the world’s only prehistoric underground temple. It could also be why this temple was later recycled, becoming a necropolis, but it’s thought it was originally a sanctuary.

Whoever built it began only a few metres below street level and built downwards as the first floor filled up, so the lower levels were a later addition, which could explain why the details of the middle level are more delicate. It’s just like a regular temple but built in the negative. The top level includes naturally formed caves that have been extended by workmen but the second level is mostly purpose dug so in more uniform circular and rectangular shapes. It also has more ornately decorated walls – swirls in red ochre were apparently very popular around 2750BC. There’s an even lover level but that was just the storage basement.

The most famous artefact discovered here is called ‘The Sleeping Lady’, a very rounded rendition of a larger lady resting on her side – she’s on display in the Museum of Archaeology.

It’s hard to get a ticket to have a look over the temple because they only allow about 80 people though a day, so book before you fly to Malta specifically to see it. If you get in you’ll see how serious they are about preserving it – everything is regulated, from the temperature to carbon dioxide levels.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

Other expert and press reviews

“Hal Saflieni Hypogeum”

'The Hypogeum is an enormous subterranean structure excavated c. 2500 B.C., using cyclopean rigging to lift huge blocks of coralline limestone. Perhaps originally a sanctuary, it became a necropolis in prehistoric times.' Copyright © UNESCO/World Herit… Read more...

Written by press. UNESCO

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

There are no posts. Why not be the first to have your say?

Post a comment, review or question

I want to
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?

Who's been here

No travelers have told us they have been here. Have you?

Similar Experiences

  • Ancient Monuments of Hue

    Hue, set on the banks of the Huong River a few kilometres inland from the South China Sea, has the hundreds of beautiful ruined…

  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

    The iconic skeleton of the Genbaku Dome, epicentre of Hiroshima’s atomic bomb blast is now part of a Peace Memorial Park, dedic…

  • The Reclining Buddha of Polonnawura

    Countless monuments have been raised, over tens of centuries, in memory of the great scenes of Buddha’s life; but this one at P…

Nearby Experiences

  • Temples of Tarxien

    Predating the pyramids at Giza the temples at Tarxien are thought to be the oldest stone structures on earth. The Neolithic bu…

  • Birgu/ Vittoriosa

    One of the oldest cities on the island of Malta is the maritime city of Birgu. The city gets its name from the time when it was…

  • Lascaris War Rooms

    These chambers, cut out of Malta’s rocky core were a command centre for the Allied Forces during the Second World War and this …

Related links

Contribute to this page