Malta's Megalithic Temples

Malta’s history is rich and intriguing. Some 5,000 years ago, before records began, the islands were home to an ingenious civilisation. Little is known about these prehistoric people, but their legacy stands to this day in the form of some extraordinary UNESCO-listed megalithic temples, which were constructed around the time of the 3rd and 4th millennium BC.

Discover the world's oldest free-standing monuments at Ggantija

On the island of Gozo, the two temples of Ġgantija are thought to be the world’s oldest surviving free-standing monuments – around 1,000 years older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza. Legend has it that these vast structures were created by giants and so they were named accordingly. Translated from Maltese, Ġgantija means giant.

Admire skilled craftsmanship at Mnajdra

Malta’s extraordinary temples of Ħaġar Qim, Mnajdra and Tarxien are incredible works of art constructed by people who had very limited resources at their disposal. The individual temples found at the Mnajdra site are particularly impressive, occupying a remote coastal location they are a fascinating example of skilled craftsmanship.

Building ended mysteriously around 2,500 BC

Although each of Malta’s megalithic temples is individual and unique, their layout and the artefacts lead experts to believe that the temples formed an important part of the rituals of an ancient civilisation.

The building of these magnificent structures mysteriously ended around 2500 BC. We will perhaps never know if this was because Malta’s prehistoric people left voluntarily to settle elsewhere or were overthrown by more powerful invaders, but the incredible archaeological sites they left behind are ours to discover when we visit the beautiful islands of Malta.

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