Ġgantija Temples – Ix-Xagħra, Malta - Atlas Obscura
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Ix-Xagħra, Malta

Ġgantija Temples

These temples are among the oldest free-standing stone buildings in the world.  

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Legend has it that a race of giants inhabited a land in the middle of the Mediterranean. They used huge boulders to construct their homes that reached the sky. Eventually, these giants died off and their homes fell apart—abandoned and forgotten. This has long been the legend surrounding the existence of the Ġgantija megalithic temple complex. 

While no evidence of giants have been found, it’s believed that the complex was established during the Neolithic Period. The temple is the second oldest manmade religious structure in the world, just behind Göbekli Tepe in Turkey. It’s thought that the temple was originally the site of rituals involving animals and may have been utilized in fertility rites. Today, the Ġgantija Temples are considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Know Before You Go

To get to the Ġgantija temples, one must first cross from Malta to Gozo on what is usually an enjoyable 30-minute ferry ride between the two islands. The exhibit is closed on December 24, 25, and 31, January 1, and on Good Friday. Infants enter free of charge, while older children (between 6 and 11) enter for €5. Adults are charged €9.  There are also discounts for students and senior citizens.


 

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