Malta is home to some of the world’s earliest free-standing stone edifices, the Megalithic Temples. Erected between the fourth and third millennium BC, these remarkably well-preserved buildings vary in architectural design, construction technique and decorative style. They were built using readily available stone, including coralline and globigerina limestone. The interiors are adorned with panels depicting trees, animals and spiral motifs. It is believed that they were a place of worship and ritual in prehistoric culture. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, they’re a must-see for any culture lover looking to explore Malta’s rich heritage. |
About the Megalithic Temples
? Ta’ Hagrat
This structure consists of two well-preserved temples. Though smaller than other similar temples, its impressive doorway, imposing façade and long courtyard endow Ta’ Hagrat with its most distinguished characteristics. You can also visit the three chambers within.
? Hagar Qim
Hagar Qim is particularly striking as the external walls of the central building are made up of some of the most imposing megaliths ever used to build these types of temples. The largest weighs around 20 tonnes and reaches a height of 5.2m. Inside there are several C-shaped rooms and large spaces crowded with ‘tables altars’. Most impressively, one of the C-shaped rooms has a wall with a small elliptical hole in it. At Summer Solstice, the sun shines through this hole to illuminate a specific slab bearing two opposite spirals.
Known as the temple of giants, this monument consists of 50-tonne megaliths that are 5m long. Though these are some of the oldest temples on the island, the plastering and repainting inside show that the spaces were actively used well-after their construction. The remains of stone hearths scattered with animal bones suggest that this was once a place of ceremony and offering.
Consisting of four megalithic edifices, the Tarxien Temples include the most intricately decorated of the structures. The South Temple boasts a relief sculpture and the remains of a statue. In fact, all four are highly ornamented with carved stone blocks, statues and altars containing animal bone and flint.
This temple will be particularly interesting if you are fascinated by how the structures were built and who built them. It consists of two temples built during different phases of prehistory: the first was erected during the Ggantija Phase, while the second was built in the Tarxien Phase. Around the temples, you can still see the outlining shape of the domestic huts where the builders used to live. This provides significant insight into the lives of people in Maltese prehistory.
How to Get There
You could be exploring these UNESCO World Heritage sites in just three hours if you catch a flight from the UK to Malta. British Airways and Air Malta both offer direct flights to Valetta airport. To make your journey even easier, you should also organise a pre-booked Malta Airport transfer, which should take between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on where you are staying on the island.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable pre-booked Malta airport transfer Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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