Malta – Southern Region – Mnajdra Temples

 

Located near to the Ħaġar Qim Temples, these temples are of a similar date although are made from a different type of stone. The site was first investigated at the same time and there are many other commonalities between them.

I had my ticket ready to enter the temples, although the man in the shed checking tickets smiled and waved me through without checking. He seemed to be checking the tickets of other people, so I must have just looked very trusting. Anyway, I had a ticket, so all was well and I could remain guilt free.

They selected a nice spot for their temple, extensive sea views. As may be evident from the photo, it was about to pour with rain during my visit, so the shelter was appreciated.

Interestingly, and shockingly, much of this site is repaired after a serious vandalism attack in April 2001 when 60 of the stones were toppled over. Some clever restoration took place to correct the damage, which must have been heart-breaking for the museum authorities. The police apparently knew which three people did it, but had insufficient evidence to prosecute.

One of the apses in the temple.

Looking out towards the edge of the site. Unfortunately I’m not enough of a temple expert to really understand this site, but there was an upper and lower section, with the upper section having been constructed first. It’s not known why the temples were built, but it’s thought to have had a religious or fertility related significance.

Some of the more eroded stones. As with other temples, they have a relevance to the solstices, when light would have shone through. Whether this was for religious or more practical farming reasons isn’t known, but what a clever piece of engineering to be able to make that work. The protective shelter over the top of the site was only added in 2009, perhaps a little too late to prevent the damage from the elements.

These temples are part of a heritage walk along the coast, which I walked some of, but the rain was too hard to complete it. I might have persisted but it started thundering and lightning, and I didn’t want to be standing on a high cliff edge with that going on….