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Heritage Malta

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Heritage Malta
Head Office
Ex Royal Naval Hospital
Triq Marina
D-KKR1524 Kalkara

fon: (+356) 22954000
fax: (+356) 21232900

Museum

National Museum of Archaeology

Valetta

The National Museum of Archaeology is housed in the Auberge de Provence, in Republic Street, Valletta. The building, an example of fine Baroque architecture, was built in 1571 and followed a plan by local architect Ġilormu Cassar. The Auberge de Provence was house to the Knights of the Order of St John originating from Provence, France and displays beautiful architectural features. Of particular note is the Grand Salon, with its richly painted walls and wooden beamed ceiling.

The Museum exhibits a spectacular range of artefacts dating back to Malta’s Neolithic period (5000 BC) up to the Phoenician Period (400 BC). On display are the earliest tools used by the prehistoric people to facilitate their daily tasks and representations of animal and human figures; elements which not only show the great artistic skills of the first dwellers of the island but also gives us an insight of their daily lives.

Highlights include the ‘Sleeping Lady’ (from the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum), the ‘Venus of Malta’ (from Ħaġar Qim), bronze daggers (recovered from the Bronze Age layers at Tarxien Temples), the Horus & Anubis pendant and the anthropomorphic sarcophagus, both belonging to the Phoenician Period.

The Museum provides the visitor with a good introduction to the prehistory and early history of the Maltese Island and acts as a catalyst to the other archaeological sites in Malta. Works are currently in progress to include another hall dedicated to the Punic period and others dedicated to the Roman and Byzantine periods in Malta.

Reasons to visit
- Unique display of renowned valuable artefacts such as the Sleeping Lady, the Venus of Malta and the Horus and Anubis pendant.
- Serves as a good introduction to prehistory and early history in Malta.
- Puts Malta’s archaeological sites in context.
- Housed in one of the most elaborately decorated Baroque buildings in Valletta.

Auberge de Provence
Republic Street
Valletta VLT 1112
Tel: +356 21 221 623

Opening Hours
January and February: Monday to Sunday: 09.00 - 17.00hrs
Last admission: 16.30hrs
March till December: Monday to Sunday: 09.00 - 18.00hrs
Last admission: 17.30hrs
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €5.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €3.50
Children (6 -11 years): €2.50
Infants (1 -5 years): Free
Museum

The Palace Armoury

Valletta

The Palace Armoury is one of the world’s largest collections of arms and armour that is still housed in its original building. The Knights of St John were a unique brotherhood of resolute warrior monks. From Malta, their island stronghold, these combatant aristocrats from the noblest houses of Europe, carried out their relentless crusade against the Ottoman Turks in defence of the Catholic faith. The Palace Armoury is certainly one of the most visible and tangible symbols of the past glories of the Sovereign Hospitaller Military Order of Malta.

Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt transferred the Order’s arsenal to the Magisterial Palace in 1604 where it was the pride of the Order.Armour of Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt Apart from being lavishly adorned with elaborate trophies of arms, it held enough arms and armour to equip thousands of soldiers. It was housed in the magnificent hall at the rear of the building, right above its present location. At present, it is displayed inside two halls that were originally the stables of the palace.

Following the forced departure of the Order of St. John from Malta, the armoury somehow lost much of its original grandeur. However, it was restored and was officially opened as Malta’s first public museum in 1860. Although only a fraction of its original splendour remains, the Armoury still contains abundant material of Italian, German, French and Spanish origin from principal production centres. Also displayed is an exotic selection of Islamic and Ottoman arms and armour. Apart from the massed arms of the common soldiers in the collection, the enriched personal armours of the nobility still manage to make a statement.

Reasons to Visit
1. Unique display of suits of armour owned by Grand Masters Alof de Wignacourt and Jean de La Valette.
2. Arms and armour used by the Knights of St. John between 1530 -1798 and by the Ottoman Empire during the Great Siege of 1565.
3. A varied selection of firearms used for both military and sporting purposes.
4. A chance to see a selection of artillery pieces originally used for battle on the fortifications.

Grandmasters Palace
Palace Square
Valletta VLT 1191
Tel: +356 21 249349

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 – 17.00hrs
Last admission: 16.30hrs

Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday. The Armoury may be also closed on other days due to state functions and activities.

Tickets
Joint admission fees for the Palace Armoury and State Rooms:
Adults (18 – 59 years): €10.00
Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €7.00
Children (6 – 11 years): €5.00
Infants (1 – 5 years): Free

Admission fees for the Armoury (when State Rooms are closed):
Adults (18 – 59 years): €6
Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €4.50
Children (6 -11 years): €3.00
Infants (1 -5 years): Free
Museum

Fort St Elmo - National War Museum

Valletta

Hosted by Fort St Elmo, the National War Museum houses a superb collection of items which takes us back to prehistoric times. Artefacts are displayed in chronological order, commencing from the early phases of the Bronze Age around 2,500 B.C.

During the second Punic war Malta changed hands and became part of the mighty Roman Empire. The disintegration of the latter led to a period of unrest where it is speculated that Malta was subject to vandal attacks. The Eastern Roman Empire officially recognised as the Byzantines, reconquered Malta in 535AD. Little is unfortunately known about life on the islands during Byzantine times as Malta is rarely mentioned in historic documents.

Malta changed hands again in 870AD following a fierce battle between the Arabs and the Byzantines. For the next 221years Malta was ruled by the Arabs and once again the culture changed to reflect these new rulers. The Normans, a rising power of the time, won Malta in 1090. These were succeeded by other European rulers that also governed the Kingdom of Sicily, namely the Swabians, Angevins, Aragon/Catalans and finally the Spanish.

Malta’s Middle Ages ends in 1530 with the arrival of the Knights of the Order of St. John. Medieval armour and other equipment displayed highlights the complex power struggle emerging in the Mediterranean and in Europe between Christians and Muslims with prominence being given to the Great Siege of Malta in 1565.

The post-Great Siege period saw the building of Valletta, numerous fortresses, fortification works and coastal fortifications throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Order of St. John’s rule in Malta was brought to an end by arrival of the French in Malta led by none other than Napoleon Bonaparte. The rule of the French did not last long however. Just three months after their arrival the Maltese rebelled and with the assistance of the British, Malta got rid of the French invaders. The British took over Malta and transformed it into one of their many colonies.

Two halls are dedicated to Malta’s important role in WW I, the Inter-War Period and Malta’s historical role in the Second World War. Displayed in these halls one can find perhaps the three most important icons of this museum: the Gloster Sea Gladiator N5520 FAITH, Roosevelt’s Jeep ‘Husky’ and Malta award for gallantry, the George Cross.

Concluding the walk through Malta’s military role in history are displays dedicated to Malta’s Independence, becoming a Republic, Freedom Day and Malta joining the European Union.

Fort St Elmo
Valletta VLT 1741
Tel: +356 21 233088

Opening Hours
Summer Hours
1st April till 30th September, Monday to Sunday: 09.00-18.00hrs
Last admission at 17.30hrs
Winter Hours
1st October till 31st March, Monday to Sunday: 09.00 - 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs

Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

On Sundays, Fort St Elmo hosts the 'In Guardia' Parade. When the In Guardia is scheduled to take place, the museum opens at 12.00hrs (instead of at 09.00hrs)

Tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €10.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €7.50
Children (6 - 11 years): €5.50
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free
Museum

The Palace State Rooms

Valletta

The State Rooms are the show piece of the Presidential Palace sited at the heart of Malta’s World Heritage capital city of Valletta. The Palace itself was one of the first buildings in the new city of Valletta founded by Grand Master Jean de Valette in 1566 a few months after the successful outcome of the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. The Palace was enlarged and developed by successive Grand Masters to serve as their official residence. Later, during the British period, it served as the Governor’s Palace and was the seat of Malta’s first constitutional parliament in 1921. The palace today is the seat of the Office of the President of Malta.

It was Grand Master Fra Pietro del Monte who, back in the late 16th century, first commissioned the building of a Magisterial Palace that was improved upon, enlarged and embellished by his successors to reach its present structure by the mid-eighteenth century. Following the brief interlude of the French in Malta between 1798 and 1800, the Palace became the official residence of the British Colonial Governor of Malta. While it was mostly through the embellishments of the various Grand Masters that the Palace reached its current appearance and dimensions, the British Governors also contributed to the dynamic and at times rather complicated architectural history of this edifice. The damage suffered by the President’s Palace as a result of the Second World War was considerable. Fortunately, the competent repairs after the devastating air-raids of February and April 1942 helped to revive the prime national and stately function of the Palace. The Palace subsequently became the seat of Malta’s Legislative Assembly set up in 1947, Malta’s first parliament following Independence in 1964 and subsequent legislatures till the present day.

Ever since the times of the Order of St John, the palace was the seat of a collection of works of art and heritage items some of which still grace its walls. Some were purposely produced and form part of the historic fabric of the building. Others were acquired, transferred or presented at different times throughout its chequered history.

Reasons to Visit
1. The only complete and intact set of the famous 18th century French Gobelins tapestries entitled, “Les Teintures des Indes”, in the world.
2. The most comprehensive visual narration of the Great Siege of 1565 painted by Matteo Perez d’Aleccio.
3. The portrait gallery of the various rulers of the Maltese Islands spanning from the coming of the Knights of St John in Malta till today.
4. The late 18th century Baroque illusionistic ceiling paintings that reflect the pageantry and grandeur that the Grand Masters pandered to as they imitated the great aristocratic courts of Europe.
5. A lavish space that is well over 400 years old and that has weathered the political demands and tastes of the Knights of the Order of St John, the British Governors and the Presidents of the Republic of Malta.

Grandmasters Palace,
Palace Square,
Valletta VLT 1191
Tel: +356 21 249 349

Opening Hours
Monday to Friday between 10.00 and 16.30hrs (last admission at 1600hrs). Saturday and Sunday between 09.00 and 16.30hrs (last admission at 1600hrs).

Closed on the 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday. The Palace State Rooms may also be closed to visitors at short notice due to the exigencies of the Office of the President.

Tickets
Joint admission fees for the Palace Armoury and State Rooms:
Adults (18 – 59 years): €10.00
Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €7.00
Children (6 – 11 years): €5.00
Infants (1 – 5 years): Free
Museum

Fort St Angelo

Vittoriosa

Fort St Angelo’s intrinsic value for the Maltese Islands and their people knows no comparison. It may not be the oldest, grandest or finest stronghold, but it surely is the boldest memorial of the strategic importance of these tiny islands and of the innumerable lives sacrificed for their dominion since time immemorial. Its control meant effective rule of the Maltese Islands during at least the past thousand years. Indeed, no other fortress has been engaged with the same intensity in the shaping of Malta’s destiny.

Fashioned around a strategically located and conveniently sized hillock at the tip of the Birgu Peninsula, the stronghold dominates the Grand Harbour. The site attracted attention since antiquity, in particular following the Islands’ colonization by the Phoenicians during the first half of the first millennium before Christ. By 1274, Fort St Angelo, or the Castrum Maris (castle-by-the-sea) as known at the time, consisted of two enclosures each demarcated by an enceinte stiffened with round towers at regular intervals. It became to be viewed by the Sicilian overlords as a guarantee of their interests in the Maltese Islands, and was administered by loyal subjects under the title of Castellan.

After 1530 the Order of St John turned the Castrum Maris, christened Fort St Angelo, into their headquarters. Indeed, the Fort formed an intrinsic part of the Order’s Convent and even housed the Grand Master’s residence between 1530 and 1558. The Knights extensively remodelled the then obsolete medieval castle with the construction of a series of artillery platforms, which marked the introduction of the bastioned system of defence into the Maltese Islands. The rejuvenated sentinel of the Grand Harbour had a major role during the Great Siege of 1565. It coordinated the day to day defensive and offensive strategies, housed the main provisions’ depot, inflicted havoc on the Ottomans’ makeshift batteries on Mount Sciberras and San Salvatore Hill, and spoiled the besiegers’ plan to attack Senglea by surprise on 15 July.

In 1689 the military engineer Carlos Grunenbergh realized that the then derelict fortress was nonetheless the best option to safeguard the Grand Harbour and subsequently spearheaded its transformation into a forceful work, including four intimidating gun platforms with a capacity of some 50 artillery pieces aimed at the entrance of the harbour.

The Fort’s vocation in safeguarding the Grand Harbour stood unchallenged with the settling in of the British colonisers at the turn of the nineteenth century. A major upgrade in 1872 sought the introduction of three 9-inch rifled-muzzle-loading guns. In 1906 the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean Fleet relocated its command hub inside the Fort which was enlisted as shore base, first renamed HMS Egmont in 1912 and HMS St Angelo in 1933. Fort St Angelo was called into action again during World War II to offer protection against the Axis air raids. It still suffered the blunt of the enemy strikes and was directly hit with 69 bombs. Following the war, the Fort continued to serve as the headquarters of the Royal Navy at Malta until the last detachment of foreign forces marched out of its walls in March 1979.

Reasons to Visit
- Appreciate spectacular panoramic views of the Grand Harbour and its surrounding fortified towns.
- Experience the vast and colourful history of Fort St Angelo and its role in the shaping of Maltese national identity through traditional and innovative immersive displays.
- Explore the various architectural styles employed within this national monument, including staggering examples of artillery.
- Enjoy a light snack and drink at the Officers’ Lounge, accompanied by a children’s play area and a well stocked museum shop.

Fort St. Angelo
Xatt l-Assedju l-Kbir 1565, Birgu
Tel: +356 25 401 800

Opening Hours
Summer Hours
1st April till 30th September, Monday to Sunday: 09.00 – 18.00hrs
Last admission: 17.30hrs
Winter Hours
1st October till 31st March, Monday to Sunday: 09.00 – 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs

Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Admission Tickets
Adults (18 – 59 years): €8.00
Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €5.00
Children (6 – 11 years): €3.00
Infants (1 – 5 years): Free

Including tour of Upper Fort St Angelo
Monday to Friday at 13.30hrs & Sunday at 11.00hrs (until the end of October 2018):

Adults (18 – 59 years): €13.00
Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €8.00
Children (6 – 11 years): €4.50
Infants (1 – 5 years): Free
Museum

Malta Maritime Museum

Vittoriosa

Housed within the Old Naval bakery, the Malta Maritime Museum charts Malta’s maritime history and lore within a Mediterranean context. It also illustrates the global nature of seafaring and its impact on Malta’s society. The museum houses numerous artefacts highlighting the different epochs of Malta’s history that is inadvertently tied to the sea.

The Museum aims at illustrating Malta’s maritime history from prehistory to the present day and to illustrate the fascination of the sea within a Mediterranean context, without neglecting the overall global nature of seafaring. These aims are achieved by the constant search for, identification, and acquisition of artefacts related to the museum’s mission. This task has been aided by the constant donations over these past years by the Maltese general public, foreign individuals, companies, corporate bodies, foreign maritime and naval museums, foreign navies, and Maltese and foreign ambassadors and high commissioners. This is a large achievement when one considers that the museum didn’t even have one single artifact in 1988. Today the museum houses a unique collection of over 20,000 artefacts belonging to Malta’s Maritime past.

Nowadays the museum is proud to showcase some unique artefacts including the largest known roman anchor in the world, the earliest known ex:voto on the island, the largest ship model belonging to the Order of St John, the largest collection of cannons on the island, the Napoleonic figure head of the 110 gun ship HMS Hibernia, a 1950s working marine steam engine, and a collection of 60+ boats.

The Malta Maritime Museum at the Marina Grande helps visitors chart 7,000 years of history under one roof.

Reasons to Visit
1. Malta’s largest museum, housed in Malta’s first ever industrial revolution building.
2. Stunning exhibits, including the largest Roman lead anchor in the World weighing 4 Tons.
3. Awe inspiring artefacts, such as a large working 18th century ship of the line instruction model.
4. Unique collections synonymous with Malta, such as the 60+ full size traditional Maltese boats.

Ex-Naval Bakery
Vittoriosa Waterfront,
Vittoriosa BRG 1721
Tel: +356 21 660 052

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 - 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs

Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €5.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €3.50
Children (6 - 11 years): €2.50
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free
Museum

The Inquisitor's Palace

Vittoriosa

The Inquisitor’s Palace, situated in the heart of Vittoriosa, is one of the very few surviving palaces of its kind which, in the early modern period could be found all over Europe and South America. Many of these palaces simply succumbed to the ravages of time or were victims of the anti-reactionary power unleashed by the French Revolution. Fortunately, the Maltese Inquisitor’s Palace, throughout its five centuries of history, always hosted high-ranking officials representing the main powers on the island, who therefore ensured its survival.

Mgr Pietro Dusina arrived in Malta in 1574 as the first general inquisitor and apostolic delegate of the Maltese Islands. The Grand Master offered him the unused palace as an official residence. Almost all successive inquisitors sought to transform the palace into a decent mansion. They all shared the same cultural values of clerical baroque Roman society, and by the mid-18th century they had managed successfully to transform the building into a typical Roman palace. The palace also managed to survive through the bombings of the Second World War and the threat of modern development.

It is today the only Inquisitor’s Place open to the public in the world and an architectural gem, representative of the chequered history and European heritage of the Maltese islands.

Reasons to Visit
1. One of the very few surviving Inquisitor’s palaces.
2. The only one accessible to the general public.
3. A former centre of power accountable directly to the Pope.
4. A unique experience including historic reconstructions of the domestic kitchen area, the sophisticated ambience of the piano nobile and private quarters and the austere setting of the Holy Office Tribunal, prison complex and torture chamber.
5. The National Museum of Ethnography with permanent displays on Malta’s religious traditions as consolidated by the Inquisition.

Main Gate Street
Vittoriosa BRG 1023
Tel: +356 21 827 006

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 - 17.00hrs
Last admission: 16.30hrs
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January, and Good Friday

Tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €6.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €4.50
Children (6 - 11 years): €3.00
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free
Museum

Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum

Paola

The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is an underground prehistoric burial site. Discovered in 1902 during construction works, the site was first excavated by Fr Emmanuel Magri between 1904 and 1906. Fr Magri died in Tunisia and his excavation notes have been lost. Excavations were taken over by Sir Themistocles Zammit, who continued works until 1911.

The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is a complex made up of interconnecting rock-cut chambers set on three distinct levels. Earliest remains at the site date back to about 4000BC, and the complex was used over a span of many centuries, up to c. 2500 BC.

The uppermost level consists of a large hollow with burial chambers on its sides. This hollow was probably originally exposed to the sky and excavations in the early 1990s indicate that there might also have been a monumental structure marking the entrance. A doorway leads to the Middle Level, which contains some of the best known features of the Hypogeum such as the intricate red ochre wall paintings and the beautifully carved features in imitation of architectural elements common in contemporaneous Megalithic Temples. The deepest of the three levels is known as the Lower Level, which is accessed down seven steps in the chamber popularly known as the ‘Holy of Holies’.

The Hypogeum was first opened to visitors in 1908 and since then it has been visited by many thousands of people. Unfortunately, this has had a toll on the delicate microclimate of the site which has affected the preservation of the site and the unique red ochre paintings. For this reason, after a conservation project which saw the site closed for 10 years between 1990 and 2000, a new system was established in which only 10 visitors an hour are allowed in for a maximum of 8 hours a day, complemented by an environmental control system which keeps temperature and humidity at required levels.

Reasons to Visit
1. Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is a unique site inscribed on the World Heritage List as “a site that bears a unique testimony to a cultural tradition which has disappeared”.
2. Paintings in red ochre, which decorate some of the walls within the site, are the oldest and only prehistoric paintings recorded on the Maltese Islands.
3. Beautifully carved featured in imitation of architectural elements common in the above-ground temples, including an example of what a roof of these structures would have looked like.
4. The only prehistoric burial site which is accessible to the general public.

Burial Street
Paola PLA 1116
Tel: +356 21 805 019

Ticket prices for the Guided Tour
Adults (18 – 59 years): €35.00
Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €20.00
Children (6 – 11 years): €15.00
Infants (1 – 5 years): No admission

Ticket prices for the Audiovisual Show (no access to the Hypogeum)
Adults (18 – 59 years): €5.00
Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), Students, Children (7 – 11 years) and concessions: €3.50

The Audiovisual Show includes a 20-minute audiovisual about the site. It does not include access to the site.
Museum

Tarxien Temples

Tarxien

The Tarxien Temples site consists of a complex of four megalithic structures built between 3600 and 2500 BC and re-used between 2400 and 1500 BC. Discovered in 1913 by local farmers, the site was extensively excavated between 1915 and 1919, with a number of minor interventions carried out in the 1920s, by Sir Themistocles Zammit, Director of Museums at the time.

The earliest of the four structures, located at the easternmost end of the site and built sometime between 3600 and 3200 BC, survives only to near ground level although its five-apse plan is still clearly visible. The South Temple, the most highly decorated of megalithic buildings with its relief sculpture and the lower part of a colossal statue of a skirted figure, and the East Temple, with its well-cut slab walls and ‘oracle’ holes, were built between 3150 and 2500 BC. The Central Temple was constructed with its unique six-apse plan and contains evidence of arched roofing.

Of the four structures, three were substantially reconstructed by Zammit during the excavation itself with further interventions taking place in the 1960s. They contain highly decorated stone blocks and screens, reliefs of domestic animals and spirals, the colossal statue and a number of altars, one of which contained a flint knife and animal bones. Their location and the relationship with the temple itself are our best indications of the type of activities which took place on site. Tarxien has also contributed to the study of the construction of these megalithic structures with the discovery of stone spheres which have been interpreted as being stone rollers, used as aids to transportation of the megaliths. Remains of cremation found at the centre of the South temple indicate that the site was re-used as a Bronze Age cremation cemetery, between 2400 and 1500 BC.

An elevated walkway was completed in 2012. This provides visitors with the opportunity to view the prehistoric remains from a unique viewpoint. The construction of a Shelter, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2007-2013 as part of the Archaeological Heritage Conservation Project, was also finalised.

*(Note: Because of some narrow points within the Temple structures, it is best to use wheeled vehicles such as wheelchairs and pushchairs which are not more than 62cm wide. For the convenience of visitors, a wheelchair is available on site free of charge upon request.)

Reasons to visit
1. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of six inscribed as ‘The Megalithic Temples of Malta’ in the World Heritage List.
2. One of the largest and most complex of the prehistoric sites on the islands.
3. Home to some of the best examples of prehistoric art which have survived the millennia, including the well-known reliefs of two bulls and a sow.
4. Walkways within and outside the temple provides accessibility to all.

Neolithic Temples Street
Tarxien TXN 1063
Tel: +356 21 695 578

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 - 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €6.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €4.50
Children (6 - 11 years): €3.00
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free
Museum

Għar Dalam

Birzebbugia

Għar Dalam’s relevance as a prehistoric site was discovered in the latter half of the 19th Century with a series of excavations unearthing animal bones as well as human remains and artifacts. The Cave is a highly important site for its Palaeontology, archaeology and ecology.

The history of the cave and that of the Islands can be decoded from Għar Dalam’s stratigraphy. The lowermost layers, more than 500,000 years old, contained the fossil bones of dwarf elephants, hippopotami, micro-mammals and birds among other species. This layer is topped by a pebble layer, and on top of it there is the so-called ‘deer’ layer, dated to around 18,000 years ago. The top layer, or ‘cultural layer’, dates less than 10,000 years and holds evidence of the first humans on the Island. It was here that the earliest evidence of human settlement on Malta, some 7,400 years ago, was discovered.

The site consists of a cave, a Victorian style exhibition and a didactic display as well as a garden planted with indigenous plants and trees.

Ghar Dalam forms part of the Natura 2000 network of protected sites which includes Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) of International Importance and Special Protection Areas (SPA). This conservation status is due to a small population of endemic cave woodlouse (Armadillidium ghardalamensis) and a roosting site for the Lesser Horse-shoe Bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros).

Reasons to Visit
1. Malta’s Oldest prehistoric site.
2. Bones of Ice Age animals visible inside the cave.
3. One of a handful of Victorian style displays in Europe as well as a didactic display.
4. Remains and artefacts of the first human settlers in Malta.
5. Water-worn cave with numerous geological features.

Għar Dalam Road
B’Buġia BBG 9014
Tel: +356 21 657 419

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 - 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €5.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €3.50
Children (6 - 11 years): €2.50
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free
Museum

Ħaġar Qim Temples

Qrendi

The temple of Ħaġar Qim stands on a hilltop overlooking the sea and the islet of Fifla, not more than 2km south-west of the village of Qrendi. At the bottom of the hill, only 500m away, lies another remarkable temple site, Mnajdra found above the Southern cliffs. The surrounding landscape is typical Mediterranean garigue and spectacular in its starkness and isolation.

First excavated in 1839, the remains suggest a date between 3600 – 3200 BC, a period known as the Ġgantija phase in Maltese prehistory. Ħaġar Qim was in fact never completely buried as the tallest stones, remained exposed and featured in 18th and 19th century paintings. The site consists of a central building and the remains of at least two more structures. The large forecourt and the monumental facade of the central structure follow the pattern typical of Maltese Prehistoric Temples. Along the external wall one may find some of the largest megaliths used in the building of these structures, such as a 5.2m high stone and a huge megalith estimated to weigh close to 20 tonnes.

The building itself is made up of a series of C-shaped rooms, known as apses. Walking through the main entrance, one finds a central paved space with an apse on each side. These apses are more firmly screened off than is usual at other temple sites using walls and slabs with square shaped portholes cut through as doorways. During excavations a slab bearing a pair of opposing spirals in relief and a free-standing pillar decorated on all four sides were found in the area. These have been replaced with replicas on site and the originals can be found at the National Museum of Archaeology.

Through the inner passage one finds an apse on the right and a large space on the left. The apse on the right has a curious setting of low stone slabs forming an inner enclosure. At the rear of this apse is a small elliptical hole. The rays of the rising sun on the first day of summer, the Summer Solstice, pass through this hole and illuminate one of the low slabs.

The large space on the left holds three high so-called ‘table altars’ and a doorway to an additional chamber reached by three steps. Three more chambers form part of this building but these can only be reached through doorways along the outer wall. Much of interest has been unearthed at Ħaġar Qim, notably stone and clay statuettes of obese figures which are also found at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta.

Reasons to Visit
1. Ħaġar Qim is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, inscribed as part of ‘The Megalithic Temples of Malta’ in the World Heritage List.
2. A dedicated visitor centre offers information about the site in a fun and interactive manner.
3. One of the prehistoric chambers at Ħaġar Qim holds an elliptical hole which is hewn out in alignment with the Summer Solstice sunrise. At sunrise, on the first day of summer, the sun’s rays pass through this hole and illuminate a stone slab inside the chamber.

Triq Ħaġar Qim,
Qrendi QRD 2501
Tel: +356 21 424 231

Opening Hours
Summer Hours
1st April till 30th September, Monday to Sunday: 09.00-18.00hrs
Last admission at 17.30hrs
Winter Hours
1st October till 31st March, Monday to Sunday: 09.00 - 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs

Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €10.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €7.50
Children (6 - 11 years): €5.50
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free

Above fee includes admission to Hagar Qim Park (Hagar Qim Temples, Mnajdra Temples, and the Visitor Centre).
Museum

Mnajdra Temples

Qrendi

Mnajdra is found in an isolated position on a rugged stretch of Malta’s southern coast overlooking the isle of Fifla. It is some 500m away from Ħaġar Qim Temples. It consists of three buildings facing a common oval forecourt. The first and oldest structure dates to the Ġgantija phase (3600 – 3200 BC). The second structure to be built was the South Temple, constructed in the early Tarxien phase (3150 – 2500 BC). The Central Temple, inserted between the other two, was the last to be built. Remains to the north-east and south of these buildings indicate that these three structures are only the best preserved of a larger complex.

The South Temple has its entrance set in a concave monumental facade and leads to two rooms, or apses. On the left-hand side, a decorated porthole doorway (a square-shaped opening cut in the centre of a stone block) leads into a small chamber. The apse to the right has a small rectangular opening which connects it to a chamber within the thickness of the walls accessible only from the rear of the building and a porthole doorway at the top of a small flight of stairs leading into another small chamber. Within the latter chamber is a small niche accessed through a small porthole slab set within a trilithon. This arrangement features on the Maltese 5, 2 and 1 euro cent coins. The four horizontal courses at the top of the walls in this area are perhaps the best indication of what the building’s roof would have looked like.

Opposite the main entrance is the doorway to the second set of apses flanked by two large blocks decorated with small drilled holes. This doorway and the decorated blocks mark the position of the rising sun on the first day of spring and autumn (the Equinoxes) and the first day of summer and winter (the Solstices).

Mnajdra’s Central Temple is built on an artificial platform and has an unusual facade in that it has two doorways, a central porthole doorway and a second open doorway with a single step to its left. The first pair of rooms are built in well-finished smooth upright stone blocks supporting two horizontal courses. There is an engraving of a temple facade on a large upright next to the doorway into the inner apses. These apses hold a central covered niche and a porthole doorway in the left-hand apse, leading to a small chamber built into the thickness of the wall.

In the East Temple, the low rubble walls visible today are modern reconstructions; they follow the original plan of this structure as indicated by the torba (crushed limestone) floor which survived. The upright stone blocks in the main doorway and in the entrance to the central apse are original. Two of them retain several irregular lines of drilled holes which have been the focus of many studies and theories on their possible meaning.

Reasons to Vsit
1. Mnajdra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, inscribed as part of ‘The Megalithic Temples of Malta’ in the World Heritage List. They are “an outstanding example of a type of building which illustrates a significant stage in human history”.
2. A dedicated visitor centre offers information about the site in a fun and interactive manner.
3. The South Temple at Mnajdra is aligned in a manner that it marks the position of sunrise on the first day of each season; the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes and the Summer and Winter Solstices.

Triq Haġar Qim
Qrendi QRD 2502
Tel: +356 21 424 231

<>Opening Hours
Summer Hours
1st April till 30th September, Monday to Sunday: 09.00-18.00hrs
Last admission at 17.30hrs
Winter Hours
1st October till 31st March, Monday to Sunday: 09.00 - 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs

Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €10.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €7.50
Children (6 - 11 years): €5.50
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free

Above fee includes admission to Hagar Qim Park (Hagar Qim Temples, Mnajdra Temples, and the Visitor Centre).
Museum

National Museum of Natural History

Mdina

The National Museum of Natural History is situated in Mdina in an eighteenth century palace, restructured by Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena, with plans by Charles Francois de Mondion in 1726. Vilhena Palace was designed in Parisian Baroque style, substituting the original building of the medieval University.

Vilhena Palace also served as a temporary hospital during the 1837 cholera outbreak, as a sanatorium for British troops in 1860 and as a hospital for tuberculosis patients in the early twentieth century. In 1973 it was officially inaugurated as the National Museum of Natural History. The main responsibility of the museum is the acquisition, collection and conservation of natural history material, with importance given to local biota.

The display areas in the museum cover various topics such as Maltese Geology and Palaeontology, exotic mammals, marine fauna, insects, shells and birds and other topics like human evolution. One hall is dedicated to skeletal anatomy of vertebrates, Dioramas that display Maltese habitats comprise, among others, one dedicated to birds of the Maltese cliff habitat, one depicting the importance of rubble walls and one showing the diversity of animals that frequent valleys. Another interesting display highlights the ecological importance of the islands of Filfla, Fungus Rock, St. Paul’s and Comino. The L. Mizzi Hall is dedicated to minerals. This display shows just a small part of Lewis Mizzi’s vast collection. It includes at least 850 pieces of rocks and minerals, with both raw material and worked pieces of art and jewellery.

Reasons to Visit
- Impressive Baroque style palace with unique features.
- Various displays covering various aspects of Malta’s wildlife.
- Malta Geology and Palaentology display.
- Largest squid taken from Maltese waters on display.
- Large collection of birds.
- Collection of rocks and minerals.

Vilhena Palace
St Publius Square
Mdina MDN 1010
Tel: +356 21 455 951

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 - 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €5.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), Students: €3.50
Children (6 - 11 years): €2.50
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free
Museum

Domvs Romana

Rabat

The small museum of the Domvs Romana is built around the remains of a rich, aristocratic roman town house (domvs) which was accidentally discovered in 1881. Although very little remains from the house itself, the intricate mosaics which survived for centuries as well as the artefacts found within the remains are testimony enough of the original richness and story of this fantastic abode.

The building housing the remains of the domvs was partly built immediately after the first excavation to protect the uncovered mosaics. It is thus the first building in the Maltese Islands to have been purposely built to protect and house an archaeological site and collection. The entrance to this small museum was through the side road (the room now housing the museum shop) and it only covered the peristyle and the two adjacent mosaics. Most of the Roman artefacts and antiquities, including the few remaining marble pieces scattered in the streets of Mdina were transferred to this museum, which was officially opened to the public in February 1882. Throughout the years the Museum continued to hold Roman material and it soon became an open storage space for all the Roman artefacts found around the Island.

The first plans to enlarge the building were made in 1906 but these were superseded by the plans made by architect Galizia in 1922. These plans, which included the addition of a facade with a triangular pediment and a large rectangular display room, resulted in the Museum that still stands today. The then Museum of Roman Antiquities has seen various renovations both to the structure and the original mosaics. It was closed during World War II and was afterwards used as a small centre for restoration. It was re-opened to the public in 1945. The mosaic of the peristyle underwent a big restoration project in the second half of the 20th century. During this restoration, the mosaic was lifted into panels and placed onto cement slabs. Unfortunately the metal rods placed in the cement are now corroding causing considerable damage to the mosaic itself. As a result, Heritage Malta, with the help of its conservators and a renowned mosaic specialist, is currently carrying out a detailed state of conservation report which will also present the methodology required to repair the mosaics with little or no damage. The display of the museum also saw two extensive renovation drives between 2002 and 2005, when the display was changed from the Victorian-style one to a more modern one, and again in 2011.

The current Museum building does not only preserve some of the most precious Roman remains but also allows visitors to get a glimpse of life in a Roman domestic household. Apart from showing the complex history of the site, the current museum display is in fact designed to take the visitor through the various aspects of a Roman family and household with aspects ranging from the actual division of roles in a Roman family, to fashion, education, entertainment, food and drink.

Reasons to Visit
1. An opportunity to understand the private life and habits of a Roman aristocrat.
2. Mosaic floors that adorned the various rooms of this Roman town house.
3. The only set of marble statues portraying the Emperor Claudius and his family that can be seen in a private house anywhere in the Roman empire.
4. An interesting collection of common and imported household items used.

Museum Esplanade
Rabat RBT 1202
Tel: +356 21 454 125

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 - 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €6.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €4.50
Children (6 - 11 years): €3.00
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free
Museum

St. Paul's Catacombs

Rabat

St.Paul’s Catacombs are a typical complex of interconnected, underground Roman cemeteries that were in use up to the 4th century AD. They are located on the outskirts of the old Roman capital Melite (today’s Mdina), since Roman law prohibited burials within the city. St Paul’s Catacombs represent the earliest and largest archaeological evidence of Christianity in Malta. The site was cleared and investigated in 1894 by Dr A.A. Caruana, the pioneer of Christian era archaeology in Malta.

The Catacombs of St Paul are situated in the zone of Ħal Bajjada in Rabat, in an area which is at times also called as Tad-Dlam. The site consists of two large areas called St Paul’s and Saints Paul/Agatha, and are littered with more than 30 hypogea, of which the main complex, situated within the St Paul’s cluster, comprises a complex system of interconnected passages and tombs covering an area of well over 2000 sqr metres.

The cluster gets its name from the myth that it was once connected with St Paul’s Grotto, which was once also partly re-cut into a Palaeochristian hypogeum. The origin of the main catacomb most probably started from a cluster of small tombs of the Punico-Roman type and hypogea which were eventually enlarged and joined haphazardly to create the complex system of passages and tombs used in the late Roman period. Although much smaller when compared to the catacombs of Rome and other large Roman centres, the catacombs of St Paul are a good example of the Maltese underground architecture, which is the result of an indigenous development which was barely influenced by overseas traditions.

The entrance to the main complex of St Paul’s Catacombs leads to two considerably large halls, adorned with pillars made to resemble Doric columns and painted plasters most of which have now disappeared. On keeping with what seems to have been a norm in most Christian catacombs, these main halls are equipped with two circular tables set in a low platform with sloping sides which resemble the reclining couch (triclinium) present in Roman houses. In all cases found in the main complex and the numerous other Christian Hypogea of the site, both table and couch are hewn out in one piece form the living rock forming a single architectural unit within an apsed recess. Although various interpretations may be found, these triclinia, or Agape tables, were probably used to host commemorative meals during the annual festival of the dead, during which the rites of burials were renewed.

The complex was probably abandoned and to some extent despoiled during the Saracenic period, when burial customs changed dramatically to suit the practices of the new conquerors. Part of the catacombs were used again during the re-Christianisation of the Island around the 13th century, when an open space was re-cut and used as a Christian shrine decorated with murals.

The catacombs were eventually abandoned and the site fell in disrepair. The main entrance was blocked off but access was still possible through an independent hypogeum in Djar Ħanżira (now Catacombs alley). It was from here that G.F. Abela probably accessed the site, which he described in his Della Descritione di Malta. The complex was however only cleared of debris in 1894 by A.A. Caruana, who cleared all the passages of rubble and surveyed the complex, including the areas appropriated by private landowners.

Reasons to Visit
1. The largest late Roman underground cemetery in Malta.
2. The earliest and largest archaeological evidence of Christianity in Malta.
3. A spiritual hub serving as a burial ground from Punic and Roman times.
4. Various tomb types showing the work that was required to dig such a cemetery.

St. Agatha Street
Rabat RBT 2013
Tel: +356 21 454 562

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 09.00-17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €5.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €3.50
Children (6 - 11 years): €2.50
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free
Museum

Skorba

Mgarr

The site of Skorba lies in the hamlet of Żebbiegħ, on the outskirts of Mġarr, overlooking the nearby valley and providing a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape.

Excavated by David Trump in the early 1960s, quite late when compared to other similar sites, this temple is unique for providing crucial evidence concerning the domestic aspect of the prehistoric people, including the temple builders themselves. This archaeological site includes the remains of two megalithic temple structures, one of which dates from the earliest phase of megalithic construction – the Ġgantija Phase, while the other was constructed at a later stage in prehistory, that is, the Tarxien Phase.

In addition, there are also the remains of several domestic huts, in which the prehistoric temple builders used to dwell. Some structures date from before the Temple Period (i.e. before 3600 BC), and therefore, are amongst the oldest constructed structures on the Maltese Islands. Scientific studies on these structures have provided crucial evidence on the life-sustaining resources which were available at the time and have also thrown light on the dietary patterns of the prehistoric people.

The archaeological value of the site and its contribution to our understanding of Maltese prehistory, were recognised by the international community and by UNESCO in 1992, when it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List along with five other temple sites on the islands. In the words of David Trump himself, this site was not only as important as any of the others for the part it played in uncovering the whole prehistory of Malta, [but] it was more important than all the others put together.

Reasons to Visit
1. A Maltese Prehistoric Temple site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
2. One of the oldest free-standing monuments of such scale and complexity in the world.
3. The only megalithic Temple site in Malta to have been excavated in living memory using a scientific method.
4. It is built partly of local Upper Coralline limestone, and partly of local Globigerina Limestone, which variation allows the visitor to distinguish between different phases of construction of the temple.
5. Its location in Żebbiegħ offers not only a magnificent view of rural Maltese environment, but puts the visitor into the same landscape setting that surrounded the prehistoric temple builders.

St. Anne Square
Żebbiegħ
Mġarr MGR 2210
Tel: +356 21 580 590

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 - 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Due to the small size and fragility of these sites, only 15 visitors may be admitted at a time

Tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €3.50
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €3.00
Children (6 - 11 years): €2.50
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free

Combo tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €6.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), Students and Children: €5.00
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free

TICKET sales NOT available on site. Combo tickets (inclusive of admission to Ta' Ħaġrat and Skorba) are available 1) ONLINE 2) from any other Heritage Malta museum / site 3) Monday to Saturday from the Mgarr Local Council - download 'info sheet' below for the local council opening hours 4) from the 'Farmers Bar' in Zebbiegh (next to Skorba) and from the 'Mgarr Snack Bar' in Mgarr village square.
Museum

Ta' Ħaġrat

Mgarr

Set in the heart of Mġarr, a village in Northwest Malta, and smaller than most other sites of a similar nature, Ta’ Ħaġrat is home to two well-preserved structures. The site was excavated between 1923 and 1926 with some other minor interventions in 1953 and in the 1960s. The larger of the two buildings dates from the earliest phases of megalithic construction – the Ġgantija phase (3600 – 3200 BC).

This structure has a monumental doorway and facade which give the site two of its most awe-inspiring and renowned characteristics. Other features include a bench, running along the facade’s length, as well as a courtyard, measuring approximately 2.5m by 4.5m, surrounded by a raised stone kerb. This space, accessible through the entrance corridor of the temple, provides access to three chambers through megalithic doorways. The main doorway of this structure was restored in 1937 with the replacement of the door lintel in its original position. The smaller structure, built on a 4-apse plan, is linked to the earlier one through a doorway in the eastern room.

The dating of this building is still uncertain although the finds indicate a Saflieni phase (3,300 – 3,000 BC) date. Ceramic material from both earlier and later periods were also found within the site indicating that the site was used both before and after the construction of the Temples.

Reasons to Visit
1. A Maltese Prehistoric Temple site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
2. One of the oldest free-standing monuments of such scale and complexity in the world.
3. Its monumental and awe-inspiring facade, including the unique stepped doorway leading into the Temple, allows one to appreciate better the genius of Maltese megalithic construction in a time when it was limited to stone, bone and wooden tools.
4. The only Temple site which is built entirely of local Upper Coralline Limestone.
5. Its location offers not only a magnificent view of rural Maltese environment, but puts the visitor into the same landscape setting that surrounded the prehistoric temple builders.

St. Peter Street
Mġarr MGR 1541
Tel: +356 21 586 264

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 - 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Due to the small size and fragility of these sites, only 15 visitors may be admitted at a time

Tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €3.50
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €3.00
Children (6 - 11 years): €2.50
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free

Combo tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €6.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), Students and Children: €5.00
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free

TICKET sales NOT available on site. Combo tickets (inclusive of admission to Ta' Ħaġrat and Skorba) are available 1) ONLINE 2) from any other Heritage Malta museum / site 3) Monday to Saturday from the Mgarr Local Council - download 'info sheet' below for the local council opening hours 4) from the 'Farmers Bar' in Zebbiegh (next to Skorba) and from the 'Mgarr Snack Bar' in Mgarr village square.
Museum

Ta' Bistra

Mosta

Located half way between the ancient town of Melite and the once-important harbour of Salina, the Ta’ Bistra catacombs are, so far, the largest set of tombs and catacombs accessible beyond the confines of the ancient city of the Island.

They were first recorded in the late 1800s but were only investigated in 1933 by Captain Charles Zammit before part of the site was covered over by a new road leading down to Burmarrad. Further studies in 2004, 2013 and 2014 have brought the site back to life with new discoveries and hence, new interpretations.

The site was part of three EU-funded projects:
1. The Cultexchange project (co-financed by the European Union European Regional Development Fund Italia-Malta Interreg III) which saw the main alteration nd structural works on the farmhouse above section of the catacombs with the final aim of turning it into a small visitor orientation centre;

2. The Archaeotur project: Integrated management and promotion of archaeological sites in Ragusa and Malta (co-financed by the European Union European Regional Development Fund Italia-Malta Interreg IV) which saw the finishing works on section A of the catacombs including the farmhouse and visitor facilities

3. The ‘Rehabilitation of Roman Baths and Christian Catacombs’ (REBACA) Project (part-funded by the European Agricultural fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), Rural Development Programme for Malta 2007-2013, Axis 3, Measure 323), which was designed by Heritage Malta to study and regenerate two of the most important archaeological sites in the north of the Island; the Għajn Tuffieħa Roman Baths and sections B and C of the Ta’ Bistra Catacombs which saw a number of studies, conservation and construction of a protective shelter on most of the site.

All these project have resulted into a multi-period site through which one can experience the different uses of a site through the various phases of Maltese history.

Reasons to visit
1. The largest catacomb site outside of Rabat
2. Child-friendly zone
3. Unique social aspects of re-use
4. New state of the art canopy structure
5. Ample parking space

Triq il-Missjunarji Maltin
Mosta
Tel: +356 2142 1381

Contact number available only during regular opening hours.

Opening Hours
Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays between 09.00 and 17.00hrs
Last admission is at 16.30hrs

Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Tickets
Adults (18 - 59 years): €5.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €3.50
Children (6 - 11 years): €2.50
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free
Museum

Gozo Museum of Archaeology

Victoria, Gozo

The Gozo Museum of Archaeology illustrates the cultural history of Gozo from prehistoric times to the early modern period. It relies on themes like burial, religion, art, food and daily life, making use of material from various archaeological sites in Gozo.

The Museum is located immediately behind the original gateway to the Citadel and is housed in a 17th century townhouse which was once the residence of the Bondì family. Subsequently, it fell into disuse and remained long neglected until Sir Harry Luke, Lieutenant Governor of the Maltese Islands, took the initiative to restore it in 1937. In May 1960, Casa Bondì was inaugurated as the first publicmuseum of Gozo hosting artefacts of archaeological and of ethnographic nature. The building came to house the archaeological collection in 1986 as part of a reorganisation programme of the Gozo museum collection into separate collections housed in separate buildings in the Citadel.

Following a series of recent upgrading interventions, the Museum’s permanent display is, at present, divided into three main sections: Prehistory, the Classical period, and the Medieval and Early Modern periods.

The prehistoric display is spread out in several rooms and spaces and focuses on a number of themes like the natural resources, subsistence and daily life, religious beliefs and practices and burial customs.

The Classical Period is represented by a number of Phoenician, Punic, and Roman artefacts found on several sites in Gozo and Comino. Artefacts range from those associated with burial to statuary and the decorative arts. The museum visit ends with a display of materials from the Medieval and Early Modern periods, closing with the arrival of the Knights of St John.

Reasons to visit
1. Boasts unique exhibits from Gozo’s prehistoric sites.
2. The only museum dedicated specifically to the archaeology of Gozo.
3. One of the few surviving fine townhouses in the Citadel.

Triq Bieb l-Imdina
The Citadel
Victoria, Gozo VCT 1831
Tel: +356 21 556 144

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 – 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Tickets
All four HM Citadel sites + the Citadel Visitor Centre:
Adults (18 – 59 years): €5.00
Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €3.50
Children (6 – 11 years): €2.50
Infants (1 – 5 years): Free

Heritage Malta Citadel sites: Gran Castello Historic House, Gozo Museum of Archaeology, Old Prison & the Natural Science Museum.
Museum

Gran Castello Historic House

Victoria, Gozo

The museum is housed in a cluster of medieval houses in Bernardo DeOpuo Street in the Citadel in Victoria, Gozo. It hosts a wide range of exhibits illustrating the local domestic, rural and traditional ways of life.

The interconnected houses hosting the museum, were probably built around the early 16th century. The architectural features betray some Sicilian and Catalan influences and show knowledge of a sophisticated Late Gothic style. Certainly, the houses belonged to wealthy families, as evidenced by the fine architectural features on the facade. These houses were rehabilitated as a museum in 1983.

The exhibits on the ground floor relate to rural trades and skills like agriculture and stone-masonry. Here, one finds various traditional implements used in agriculture along with a varied selection of grinding mills. One substantial example occupies the centre of a large reconstructed mill-room. One also finds a large selection of tools used by carpenters and blacksmiths. The same ground floor display also includes grain and liquid measures and various types of weights and scales.

The display on the mezzanine level has a section devoted to such hobbies like the modelling of miniature churches, replete with religious accessories. An interesting ex-voto collection is another highlight which portrays bygone pious traditions.

The first floor, once the living quarters of the resident wealthy families, hosts an exhibition of items related to important local crafts such as lace-making and weaving and these are complemented by items related to the cotton industry like the cotton gin and the spinning wheel. Another small part of the first floor collection is devoted to the traditional fishing industry.

The traditional way of life of the local population is brought back to life with this array of material representations presented for public viewing in this museum.

Reasons to Visit
1. One of the finest surviving townhouses in the Citadel.
2. The only surviving late Medieval house of its type in Gozo, with Late Gothic influences on the facade.
3. Provides a wide representation of artefacts related to crafts, pastimes, and traditions from Gozo until the relatively recent past.

Melite Bernardo De Opuo Street
The Citadel
Victoria – Gozo VCT 1860
Tel: +356 21 562 034

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 – 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Tickets
All four HM Citadel sites + the Citadel Visitor Centre:
Adults (18 – 59 years): €5.00
Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €3.50
Children (6 – 11 years): €2.50
Infants (1 – 5 years): Free

Heritage Malta Citadel sites: Gran Castello Historic House, Gozo Museum of Archaeology, Old Prison & the Natural Science Museum.
Museum

Gozo Nature Museum

Victoria, Gozo

The Gozo Nature Museum is situated behind the Courts of Justice in the Citadel in Victoria, Gozo and focuses mainly on Gozo’s natural resources and their use by the island’s inhabitants. The museum is housed within a cluster of three interconnected domestic buildings, dating back to the 1600s. In later years, this building was used as an inn for visitors. During World War II it served as a shelter for families who sought refuge during aerial bombings.

The Museum’s collection is distributed on two floors: the ground floor comprises the geology, minerals, human and animal evolution and marine life sections. The geology display highlights the geology of the island of Gozo and includes marine organisms deposited on the sea floor between 35 and 5 million years ago and fragments of fossil bones from the Maltese Islands. The majority of the specimens in the mineral collection come from the generous donation of Dr Lewis Mizzi, a Gozitan lawyer and mineralogist of great repute.

An exhibit not to be missed is a tiny specimen of a moonstone accompanied by a small Maltese flag. The stone was brought from the moon’s surface by the crew of Apollo II and donated to the Maltese people by American President Nixon.

The upper floor is dedicated to the study of insects and the flora and ecosystems of the Maltese Islands, particularly of Gozo. The entomology room holds a small but impressive collection of exotic and local insects, butterflies and moths. An important specimen on this floor is the Malta Fungus, formerly believed to grow only on the so-called ‘Fungus Rock’ in Dwejra.

A small garden at the back of the Museum is dedicated to garigue flora and one can observe examples of typical indigenous plants, including the Maltese Rock Centaury, the national plant.

Reasons to Vist
1. Housed in a building which dates back to the 1600s, full of authentic architectural features.
2. An interesting collection of specimens focusing on local habitats.
3. One of the museum’s special attractions is an authentic moonstone fragment from the first lunar expedition, Apollo II in 1969.

Triq il-Kwartier ta’ San Martin
The Citadel
Victoria Gozo VCT 1883
Tel: +356 21 556 153

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 – 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Tickets
All four HM Citadel sites + the Citadel Visitor Centre:
Adults (18 – 59 years): €5.00
Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €3.50
Children (6 – 11 years): €2.50
Infants (1 – 5 years): Free

Heritage Malta Citadel sites: Gran Castello Historic House, Gozo Museum of Archaeology, Old Prison & the Natural Science Museum.
Museum

Old Prison

Victoria, Gozo

Situated in the Citadel in Victoria, Gozo the Old Prison lies adjacent to the Courts of Justice to which it was originally connected. In its present form, the prison complex is divided into two sections: the entrance hall which served as a common cell in the 19th century and now hosts a permanent exhibition on fortifications and a free-standing block with six individual cells. Having undergone a number of structural modifications, this prison was in use from the mid-16th century until the beginning of the 20th century.

Soon after their arrival in Malta, the Knights of St John used this prison to intern their rowdy and disruptive members. The list of notorious inmates included Fra Jean Parisot de La Valette (later, Grand Master of Malta) who, in 1538, spent four months in the Gozo prison after having attacked a man.

After the expulsion of the Knights of St John from Malta, the prison remained in use. From the mid-19th century, another building on the other side of the Citadel started functioning as a prison and continued to serve this purpose until it closed down in 1962. Initially, the new prison was in use simultaneously with the old one which, for some decades, continued to house those individuals awaiting trial.

The walls of the cells and corridors in the Old Prison are covered with graffiti. This is the largest known collection of historical graffiti in one single place on the Maltese Islands. They include mainly sea vessels and date from different periods. But there are also palm-prints, crosses, names, dates, games, and anthropomorphic figures. Some inmates also appear to have scratched a tally of their length of stay behind bars. These graffiti provide a fascinating insight into the lives of those incarcerated here.

Reasons to visit
1. The oldest surviving prison in Gozo.
2. Boasts a large number of unique graffiti.
3. Provides a glimpse of the conditions in which inmates were kept.

Cathedral Square
The Citadel
Victoria Gozo VCT 1821
Tel: +356 21 565 988

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 – 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Tickets
All four HM Citadel sites + the Citadel Visitor Centre:
Adults (18 – 59 years): €5.00
Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €3.50
Children (6 – 11 years): €2.50
Infants (1 – 5 years): Free

Heritage Malta Citadel sites: Gran Castello Historic House, Gozo Museum of Archaeology, Old Prison & the Natural Science Museum.
Museum

Ġgantija Temples

Xagħra, Gozo

The Ġgantija Temples in Xagħra, Gozo, are one of the most important archaeological sites in the Maltese Islands and are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The site consists of two temples dating back to between 3600 and 3200 B.C.

The name Ġgantija derives from the word ġgant, the Maltese word for giant as the site was commonly associated with a race of giants. Notwithstanding its age, the monument survives in a considerably good state of preservation. This is evident in the boundary wall which encloses the two temples, and which is built in rough coralline limestone blocks. Some of the megaliths exceed five metres in length and weigh over fifty tons.

The hard-wearing coralline limestone is used extensively at Ġgantija, and is one of the reasons behind the preservation of the monument. The softer Globigerina limestone is reserved for inner furnishings such as doorways, altars and decorative slabs. Each temple consists of a number of apses flanking a central corridor. There is evidence of the internal walls having been plastered and painted over, as proven by two plaster fragments with red ochre, now preserved at the Gozo Museum of Archaeology.

Remains of animal bone suggest some sort of ritual involving animal sacrifice. The use of fire is evidenced by the presence of stone hearths. A number of libation holes in the floor may have been used for the pouring of liquid offerings. It is probable that during ceremonial activities, the congregation would have assembled outside the temple complex, since the large forecourt in front of the two temples was purposely raised by the same temple builders.

Entrance to the Ġgantija Temples is from a newly constructed Interpretation Centre that provides visitors with the opportunity to explore various aspects related to life in the Neolithic. The centre is also home to a selection of the most significant finds discovered at various prehistoric sites in Gozo. The Centre is linked to the temple site via an external pathway that provides visitors with unique views of the natural landscape that surrounds Ġgantija.

Reasons to Visit
1. UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. One of Malta’s best preserved prehistoric temples dating back to 3600/3200BC.
3. Considered as one of the oldest free standing monuments in the world preceding Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.
4. They represent a phenomenal cultural, artistic and technological development in a very early period in human life.
5. An exhibition of some of the most unique prehistoric artefacts discovered in Gozo.

John Otto Bayer Street
Xagħra
Gozo
Tel: +356 21 553 194

Opening Hours
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

Tickets
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 fee includes admission to the Ġgantija Temples and Ta' Kola Windmill.

Adults (18 - 59 years): €6.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €4.50
Children (6 - 11 years): €3.00
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free

Above fee includes admission to the Ġgantija Temples between 16.30 and 17.30hrs (summer hours).
Museum

Ta' Kola Windmill

Xagħra, Gozo

Ta’ Kola Windmill in Xagħra, Gozo, is one of the few surviving windmills on the Maltese Islands dating back to the Knights’ Period. Its origins go back to 1725 during the magistracy of Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena (1722-36). As its construction seems to have incorporated bad quality stones and mortar, it had to be dismantled and reconstructed during the 1780s.

The windmill’s name Ta’ Kola is connected with the last miller, Ġuzeppi Grech who was popularly known as Żeppu ta’ Kola (Joseph the son of Nikola).

Apart from operating the windmill, the miller would likely have performed several secondary jobs to keep himself employed when weather conditions made it impossible to operate the mill. When the wind was favourable for the mill to be operated, the miller would let the locals know by blowing through a triton-shell (Maltese bronja) and villagers would then bring their cereals to be ground into flour.

Its construction follows a plan which is echoed in most Maltese windmills of the period and consists of a number of rooms on two floors surrounding the centrally-placed cylindrical stone tower. The latter houses the milling mechanism which consists of two circular hard-wearing stones placed on top of each other to crush the grain forced between the two rotating surfaces.

On the ground floor of the windmill one can observe the workshop premises containing a vast array of tools, some of which were originally manufactured by the owners of the mill. On the first floor, the living quarters of the miller including the kitchen, dining room and bedrooms, have been recreated using traditional furniture and items related to Gozitan crafts. In the kitchen one may find traditional utensils and cooking ware which are today hard to come across.

Reasons to visit
1. One of the few surviving windmills on the Maltese Islands dating to the Knights’ period.
2. Provides a glimpse of local traditional rural life of Gozo in the past centuries.
3. Houses one of the largest known collections of tools, some of which were manufactured by the last miller who lived inside the mill.

Bambina Street
Xagħra XRA 2112
Gozo
Tel: +356 21 561 071

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 9.00 - 17.00
Last admission: 16.30
Closed: 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January, Good Friday

Tickets
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 fee includes admission to Ta' Kola Windmill and Ġgantija Temples.
Exhibitions / Museum National Museum of Archaeology Valletta Valletta, Republic Street
Exhibitions / Exhibition National Museum of Natural History Mdina, Vilhena Palace
Exhibitions / Exhibition Fort St Elmo National War Museum Valletta,
Exhibitions / Exhibition Christine X Art Gallery Malta Sliema, 17, Tigne Street
Exhibitions / Exhibition Casa Rocka Piccola Valletta, 74 Republic Street
Exhibitions / Museum Malta School of Arts Valleta Valletta, 219 Republic Street