Your Tour Guide to Ggantija Temples of Gozo, Malta
Many of you want to visit Malta including its precious hidden gems on Gozo island. Today I’ll give you your tour guide to one of the famous spots that you’ll find in this extravagant island.
Let me guess you are thinking how to pronounce that word right? Well, “Ggantija” is a Maltese word, it means “Giants’ Tower” in English. Don’t worry it’s difficult to explain how to pronounce it. You can say Gegantija.
The name Ggantija derives from the word “ggant” it means giant in Maltese. Gozitans used to believe that the temples built by a race of giants.
Facts about Ggantija that you should know
Ggantija Temple considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the best-preserved prehistoric temples dating back to 3600 and 3200 B.C.
It is the unique prehistoric artifacts discovered in Gozo. Which is 1,000 years older than Stonehenge or the pyramids in Egypt.
One of the oldest free-standing monuments in the world beside Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. These are the best preserved of all the Maltese temples.
When we arrived in Gozo Island, there was a long list of places that we can visit. While we were on the boat, I have taken down some spots that I want to visit. First on the list was a beach (it’s a secret, for now, I’ll tell you later) Second, is this history catcher giant temples.
The Interpretation Centre gives visitors the possibility to explore various aspects related to life in the Neolithic. It is also the home to variety of the most vital finds discovered at various prehistoric sites in Gozo.
This place linked to the temple site via an external pathway that accommodates visitors with unparalleled views of the natural panorama view that surrounds Ggantija.
Once you have done observing and learning about Neolithic life on the islands, as well as the most extensive collection of prehistoric artifacts found on the island of Gozo. You can now go to the pathway that leads to the Ggantija Temples.
Look at the photo above this is the actual view of Ggantija Temples taken from the pathway. It indeed looks like petite but from afar, but, a step closer and you’ll know they are limestone blocks gigantic.
According to the research, some of these megaliths (large stone that forms a prehistoric monument) exceeds five meters in length and they weight over fifty tons.
Ggantija Temples consist of two temples which are side by side. The South temple and the North temple. They are both surrounded by a single boundary wall. They believed to be the oldest of all the megalithic temples preserved.
The remains of a third temple were also found adjacent to the other two and archaeologists think this abandoned before completion.
Hard-wearing coralline limestone used for construction of the outer walls which is one of the reasons the buildings have survived so long. As for the interior part of the temple. Globigerina limestone used for inner furnishings such as doorways, altars, and decorative slabs.
The Interior of the first temple
Now, You’ll see some of the best (ruins) views inside the first temple. Your Tour guide to the interior part of the ruins is waiting for you.
Each temple consists of a number of apses flanking a central corridor. Some evidence of the internal walls having been plastered and painted over, as proven by two plaster fragments with red ochre.
These fragments (red ochre) have been found and now preserved at the Gozo Museum of Archaeology.
From this point, you’ll see more of circular holes cutting all the way through the walls. They are very visible often close to the doorway side. There were no explications on what these holes were used for maybe for pouring liquid offerings but still, it’s not proven yet.
Trying to figure out about this holes as well, I was deeply curious. Perhaps, they used it for some very important reason. Even thinking about how did ancient people make a clear hole. What kind of tool did they use to make these?
The Second Temple
Strolling around at the second temple (ruins), you’ll see more of these perforations. These holes are not uncommon from another temple, but still, their purpose is unknown.
Why Ggantija Temples became UNESCO World Heritage site?
Besides its extraordinary history, The two temples of Ggantija are notable for their gigantic Bronze Age structures.
According to UNESCO World Heritage site list, there are seven megalithic temples in Malta and Gozo. These are the temples of Hagar Qin, Mnajdra and Tarxien.
Featuring their unique architectural masterpieces, given the limited resources available to their builders.
Two others are Ta’Hagrat and Skorba complexes, show how tradition of temple-building handed down in Malta.
How to get to Ggantija Temples
First that I would recommend to you is the Hop on hop off buses. Which are also very convenient if traveling to Gozo without a car. A day ticket for adults costs €15 and children pay €9.
For Bus lovers: (Within Gozo)
Victoria – Xaghra Bus Direction (307) ride at Victoria Bay 3 bus stop and after 9 stops you’ll get to Ggantija. It’s 4-5 minutes walk from there.
If you just arrived from a Ferry ride then you can get the Bus 322 at the Vapur Bus Stop. Wait for the Bus to Marsalforn then ride to Tempji (23rd stop) the ride will take 19 minutes. Then walk to Ggantija for 5 minutes.
It’s easy when you rented a car in Malta. Just type in your GPS the address of the temple. Normally, from the ferry terminal, it will take you 10 minutes only (6km).
Winter Hours (1st October till 31st May)
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 – 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs
Summer Hours (1st June till 30th September)
Monday to Sunday: 09.00-18.00hrs
Last admission at 17.30hrs
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday
John Otto Bayer Street, Xaghra, Gozo
Tel: +356 21 553 194
Adults (18 – 59 years): €9.00
Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €7.00
Children (6 – 11 years): €5.00
Infants (1 – 5 years): Free
Above fees include admission to the Ggantija Temples and Ta’ Kola Windmill.
Your Tour Guide to Ggantija Temples of Gozo, Malta