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Hagar Qim Megalithic Temple

Hagar Qim Megalithic Temple was built over 5200 years ago in the Ggantija phase of Temple building (3600 - 3200 BC). The Temple is on a hilltop overlooking the sea about 2km south-west of the village of Qrendi on the island of Malta. The Mnajdra Temple is just 500 meter towards the cliff face.

Hagar Qim - Malta

Hagar Qim temple is the best preserved of the ancient limestone temples of Malta. Unlike most other Maltese temples, it is a single temple rather than a complex of two or three. The temple is laid out on a clover-leaf shape and consists of four or five apses, with a forecourt and facade. This design is typical of Neolithic temples across Malta.

One noteworthy characteristic of Hagar Qim are its larger orthostats (upright stones) at the corners, which are notched to take the second of horizontal courses above. The interior of the temple is more closed off than in other Maltese temples and the view of it seems to have been limited to porthole slabs. A stone decorated with spiral designs and a free-standing altar decorated on all sides were found here.

The right apse has an interesting inner enclosure made of low stone slabs. The left apse has three high table altars and a low-standing pillar at the end. Three steps up from the left apse lead to an additional chamber.

In the outer enclosing wall the first upright orthostat behind the right-hand corner of the façade is one of the largest of any temple, at 6.4m long and close to 20 tons in weight. Other related ruins have been uncovered near the main temple, and two "fat lady" statues discovered here are now in display in the national museum in Valetta.


Hagar Qim Aerial View
Hagar Qim Aerial View

Resources:


Sacred Destinations - worldwide guide to sacred sites, holy places, pilgrimage destinations, religious architecture and sacred art.

Heritage Malta - Government of Malta agency set up to manage the heritage sites of Malta and Gozo.