A prehistoric mystical experience
Exploring this underground burial site, carved out into the rock more than 5000 years ago, is one of the most memorable and inspiring experiences that you will have on the island. Walking down the labyrinthine structure of chambers, adorned with red figures and spirals, deep into a profound silence, you can really feel like going into the womb of Mother Earth.
This extraordinary necropolis, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was discovered by a stonemason in 1902, and hosted the remains of over 7000 people in addition to the ephemera repliche panerai of their former lives, including amulets, beads, pottery, carved animals and figurines. The most exquisite of the figurines found was the enchanting ‘Sleeping Lady’, of which the original is on exhibit in the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta.
Book in advance!
Only 80 visitors per day are permitted to enter the Hypogeum, so it’s highly recommended to book your visit at least 2 weeks in advance (or 4 weeks, during the summer). Book online at the Heritage Malta website. Children under 6 are not allowed in the Hypogeum for security reasons.
- The captivating architectural detail of the Hypogeum, a ‘temple in negative’ hewn from deep rock.
- The mysterious red murals and symbols adorning the walls.
- The Oracle Chamber.
- The Holy of Holies.
- The highly atmospheric lighting of the Hypogeum, designed both to preserve the location and enhance the experience.
If you have not booked your visit in advance,you may be able to get a ticket on one of the two last-minute tours which run daily at 12pm and 4pm. These tickets can be bought at 9am the day before at the National Museum of Fine Arts in South Street in Valletta or the Gozo Museum of Archaeology. Latecomers to the tours may find their places sold to a waiting list - so be sure to arrive early in order to avoid disappointment.
Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, Burial Street, Paola, Malta.
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- Bus 1, 2, 3, 81, 82, 83, 84, 91, 92, 93, 94 from Valletta Terminus.
- Stop in front of Paola Parish Church and follow the signs. The Hypogeum is only a 5 minute walk away.
- Mon - Sun from 9am to 4pm.
- Closed on 24, 25 & 31 Dec, 1 Jan, Good Friday.
- Eight tours. Each tour on the hour.
- €30 adults, €15 concessions, €15 (children between 12-17)-€12 (children between 6-11) no children under 6 admitted.
- 35€ at 12pm and 4pm.
The Hal Saflieni Hypogeum: a prehistoric mystical experience
Two Maltese archaeologists offer some unique Ankara Dershane insights into the death rituals of the temple builders.