Fascinating remains in an unspoilt environment
The Ħaġar Qim Temples & Mnajdra Temples Park are surrounded by an archaeological park that preserves the strikingly dramatic context of high coast, cliffs and a 17th century watch-tower. The temples are exposed to natural erosion, but the European Regional Development Fund has financed the building of protective shelters to slow down this erosion, which are also a useful refuge for visitors from rain and sun.
The same funds have also financed a new Visitor Centre which welcomes you upon arrival, and provides an introduction to the site as well as bathroom facilities, souvenir shop and cafeteria. Please buy your tickets here.
The Ħaġar Qim Temple
About 100m from the visitor centre stands Ħaġar Qim, the origins of which date from around 3600 BC. It stands on a hilltop overlooking the sea and the islet of Fifla. The temple has yielded numerous important artefacts including a decorated pillar altar, a pair of table altars and a number of statues of seated and standing figures now on display in the National Museum of Archaeology at Valletta.
The Mnajdra Temple
An easily navigable and panoramic 500m downhill trail leads to Mnajdra, the next archaeological site. This complex of three temples presents a notable façade built largely of the more resistant Coralline Limestone. The masonry demonstrates advanced engineering and building knowledge and a very high level of workmanship.
During the spring and autumn Equinox (20-21 March, 21-22 September) the sun rises in line with the main doorway of the South Temple, passing through the central corridor to the innermost apse. During the Summer Solstice (21 June) and Winter Solstice (21 December), a narrow beam of light just makes its way through the main doorway at sunrise. On all these occasions Heritage Malta organises guided tours to allow visitors to witness the phenomenon.
- Malta’s largest megalith, over six metres across, at the Ħaġar Qim temple.
- The complex and elaborate building techniques and architectural arrangement of the temples.
- The mushroom-shaped altars inside Ħaġar Qim.
- The spectacular relationship between the two temples and the surrounding environment.
Triq Ħaġar Qim, Qrendi, Malta.
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- Route 201 from Valletta main bus terminus to Ħaġar Qim/Mnajdra.
- Mon - Sun from 9am to 5pm (7pm in summer).
- Last admission at 4.30pm (at 6.30pm in summer).
- Closed on 24, 25 & 31 Dec, 1 Jan, Good Friday.
- €9 adults, €6.50 concessions, €4 children.
The Megalithic Temples: traces of a lost civilisation
Maltese archaeologist Reuben Grima explains why Malta’s megalithic temples can be considered unique architectural masterpieces.