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Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra Temples awarded Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice

Local megalithic temples, Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra Temples have been awarded the Travelers’ Choice award for 2020 by TripAdvisor.

The honour is generally awarded by TripAdvisor to accommodations, attractions and restaurants, which earn stellar reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on the website.

The two sites are a megalithic temple complex, which can be found on a hilltop in Qrendi, a village on the southern coast of Malta. On either side of the hill lie the impressive temples of Mnajdra. A popular theory suggests that the village, originally referred to as Krendi, actually got its name from the megaliths of Ħaġar Qim!

The ancient sites, which are a masterpiece of stone masonry from a forgotten age, are also classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, for their ‘unique architectural masterpieces’.

Considering the temples were built between 3600 and 3200BC, they are extremely well preserved. Though they were excavated in 1839, old documents and paintings before that date confirm that people knew of its existence.

The main structure consists of five rooms, divided by a corridor. The layout, as well as artefacts found on site, such as clay figurines, suggest that the structures were likely shrines, erected to worship mother earth, as well as the fertility cycles. Interestingly, a 5.2-metre high monolith is located on the outside of the temple, which has been said to resemble the ‘male’.

Photo: tripfreakz.com

Photo: lifepart2.com

Hard coralline limestone was used during construction, to erect the external walls. Softer, globigerina limestone was used for the interiors. One of the megaliths weighs around 20 tonnes, giving rise to the questions regarding which techniques were used by the builders at the time.

Apart from the main temple, archaeologists also came across the remains of another two structures, which are thought to be even older.

How to get there

To get to Ħaġar Qim temples by bus you can take bus number 74 from Valletta. The trip takes about an hour.

If you’re driving there, just follow the map to Żurrieq, then keep driving on the outskirts of the village following the coastal road that leads to Siġġiewi. There are plenty of road signs along the way.

Visiting hours are as follows:

Summer Hours

1st April till 30th September

Monday to Sunday: 09.00-18.00hrs

Last admission at 17.30hrs

Winter Hours

1st October till 31st March

Monday to Sunday: 09.00 – 17.00hrs

Last admission at 16.30hrs