Before Christ, before the great pyramids of Egypt, before the wheel, the ancient settlers in Malta built grand temples to honor the gods of their time. Over time they were abandoned, wind wore down some of the big rock, dirt and vegetation grew over some of it, and they were forgotten to time. That was, until some farmers found big rocks that seemed impossible to move when they tried to do the farming. Years of excavation and archeology work has helped us uncover these great temples, and preserve them as a UNESCO World Heritage site so my friend and I could see their grander during our own grand journey.
Ok, maybe it wasn’t just for our girls trip, but we did take advantage of being in Malta, and decided to visit on our last full day on the island. On our last day, we got a taxi for several hours, and went out to Qrendi where the Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra temples are located. After paying the entry fee, we entered a 3-D presentation on the temples. Using dramatic graphic special effects we see the temples being built, used, abandoned, hidden, and resurrected over time. It’s a quick 15 minute show, but it gives you a good idea of what it used to look like when you go to see the actual ruins. Then you are funneled into a museum, where we read about the ancient Phoenicians who built the temples, and what their lives were like (as well as artifacts found on site). However, after the seeing the Ġgantija temples in Gozo, I wasn’t as interested in the exhibits. So I hung out with baby D, helping her with the interact pieces. She had a blast, thought I’m not sure she actually got the history lesson
Once you are done you head outside, and just up the path you see the massive temple ruins complex, all covered with a tent. In 2008, the government erected this sun/wind shade over the temples to protect them from the elements. It makes it nice to visit in rain or shine, but also shows just how massive this ruin complex is.
We showed our tickets, walked through the gates, and went down to the ruins. These ruins were very different in that they were significantly better escalated and maintained then the Ġgantija temple. We were able to get a clear idea of the size, rooms, and doorways (plus how much shorter they must have been). Here you could better see the carvings done on the rock, where the alter was, and where the prayers were done. We all got quite dusty walking around due to the lack of vegitation, but it was nice to be able to see al the unique architectural aspects
After visiting the Ħaġar Qim temple, you walk down the hill to the Mnajdra temple which is closer to the sea. It’s believed these were built at different times, but they are not sure who two were built so close together. The 2nd temple was smaller and had similar architecturally features as the Ġgantija temple. We walked around taking pictures, and marveling and the ingenuity of our ancestors, who did this without computers, the written word, or even the wheel.
Finally, it was time to go. We followed the slow, uphill trail back to the museum. Be we took the time to admire the beautiful view of The Mediterranean, taking in deep blues, the wild flowers, and the history as the backdrop. We were here to celebrate R’s birthday. But we were also here to enjoy womanhood, friendship, and the bonds that have helped us and woman like us since the time the temples were build. I was sad to leave, sad to go back home. But I knew that this trip would live in me and help sustain my soul. I’m forever grateful for my best friend, for planning this trip, and for my friends, who made this trip amazing. Sometimes you have to step away, see the history, to help appreciate what you have today.
- Address: Triq Ħaġar Qim, Qrendi QRD 2501
- Hours: 7 Days a week, 9 AM – 6 PM June – October, 9AM – 5 PM November – May
- Costs: Adults €10, Youth (12-17), Senior Citizens, and Students €7.50, Children (6-12) €6.50, 5 and under free
This was a stop during my Girls Trip to Malta