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2019-09-26 00:18:54

Megalithic temples of Malta: the most ancient temples in the world

Megalithic temples of Malta: the most ancient temples in the world

Malta is a country with a long history and amazing sights: megalithic temples located in Malta and Gozo are the oldest man-made buildings. They are older than the pyramids in Egyptian Giza! Some of the temples are destroyed, the other part is well preserved, but even the destroyed objects are impressive in size and volume. It is impossible to be in Malta and not visit megalithic temples, which are unique historical monuments that have no analogues in the world. You need only book an excursion with local guides and you are ready to go to the world of ancient buildings.

History of megalithic temples

Scientists argued for a long time about the age of buildings abandoned by the ancient Maltese: spectral analysis proved that the temples date from the middle of the 4th - beginning of the 3rd millennium BC. Who built them and how are ambiguous questions, because some buildings are quite complex: one thing is clear - the Maltese builders had extensive knowledge, tools and created temples that have stood for 5 or more thousand years.

Some temples were dismantled by locals for agricultural purposes: land was freed up. Now most of the temples, which are very popular among hundreds of thousands of tourists, are under the protection of UNESCO. The largest and best preserved of them are: Ggantija, Mnaidra, Tarxien and Hagar Qim.

Temple Details

The oldest and largest temple is Ggantija: these are two separate buildings surrounded by a common fence. The temple has preserved many objects: depressions for washing the feet in front of the entrance, places for hanging animal victims, stone fences of the entrance, the altar. The height of Ggantija reaches 6 meters, and the weight of one stone block is 50 tons, which makes us think about who built the buildings and how: some groups of people claim that the building was built not by man, but by another representative of ancient civilizations with knowledge and technical capabilities.

Other temples

  1. Mnaidra - the temple's features are associated with the analogue of Chinese "feng shui": the construction and the location and knowledge of the equinox and solstice were taken into account.
  2. Tarxien - these are three temples that are the pinnacle of architecture of those times: a statue of a goddess 2.7 meters tall stood above the entrance to the third temple, and today there is her replica, an analogue of which is stored in the Valletta Museum.
  3. Hagar Qim - in size and age it is practically an analogue of Ggantija: the altar, sanctuary and walls are also preserved here.

Underground temples

Ancient Maltese built the most important buildings underground - for better preservation. Gipogey is a large underground temple - its structure is very similar to those megalithic temples that are on the ground, but its function was different: it was a tomb in which at least 6 thousand inhabitants of Malta were buried, and the total area of three tiers of the temple is 480 square meters.

Interesting Facts

  • The total number of megalithic temples in Malta is 23
  • Temples were not only a religious center, but also a cultural, social and financial institution
  • 2300 BC - the end of the civilization of ancient Malta: the reasons for the disappearance of people were not found
  • The period of construction of megalithic temples in Malta is called: "The era of temple builders."


The object belongs to temple complexes.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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