Buġibba Temple – San Pawl il-Baħar, Malta - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

San Pawl il-Baħar, Malta

Buġibba Temple

The ruins of a megalithic monument sit right in the garden of a luxurious Maltese resort. 

At the Dolmen Resort Hotel in Saint Paul Bay on the island of Malta, you’ll find a resort with a megalithic temple situated in its garden, right by the swimming pool. It’s a magnificent mix of luxury relaxation and ancient archeology, and the only one of its kind.

Buġibba Temple was discovered by the Maltese archaeologist Themistocles Zammit in the 1920s after he noticed the large stones in what was then a field. The temple was built with coralline limestone during the Tarxien era of Maltese prehistory, which ranged from approximately 3150 to 2500 BC. Unfortunately, agricultural activities later destroyed much of the structure.

Today the old stack of stones set against a backdrop of the hotel’s colorful exterior makes for a unique, disjointed scene. The hotel was built around Buġibba Temple, likely to preserve the ancient remains. Today, guests can walk by and admire the portion of the temple’s façade that’s still standing while milling about the property.

During the excavations, archaeologists also uncovered two decorated stone blocks. One served as an altar and the other featured carved images of fish on two of its sides. Both of them are displayed at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta.

Know Before You Go

Dolmen Hotel is near the central bus station of Qawra in San Pawl il-Baħar. It's accessed via many buses within Valetta and other towns in Malta