Ta' Hagrat Temples

Mġarr, Malta

The Ta' Ħaġrat temples in Mġarr, Malta is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with several other Megalithic temples. They are amongst the most ancient religious sites on Earth. The larger Ta' Ħaġrat temple dates from the Ġgantija phase (3600–3200 BCE); the smaller is dated to the Saflieni phase (3300–3000 BCE).

The excavation of plentiful pottery deposits show that a village stood on the site and predates the temples themselves. This early pottery is dated to the Mġarr phase (3800-3600 BCE). Ta' Ħaġrat is built out of lower coralline limestone, the oldest exposed rock in the Maltese Islands. The complex contains two adjacent temples. The smaller temple abuts the major one on the northern side.

The two parts are less regularly planned and smaller in size than many of the other neolithic temples in Malta. Unlike other megalithic temples in Malta no decorated blocks were discovered; however a number of artifacts were found. Perhaps most intriguing is a scale model of a temple, sculpted in globigerina limestone.

The major temple is typically trefoil, with a concave façade opening onto a spacious semicircular forecourt. The façade contains a monumental doorway in the center and a bench at its base. Two steps lead up to the main entrance and a corridor flanked by upright megaliths of coralline limestone.

The corridor leads into a central torba[disambiguation needed] court, radiating three semi-circular chambers. These were partially walled off at some time in the Saflieni phase; pottery shards were recovered from the internal packing of this wall. The apses are constructed with roughly-hewn stone walls and have a rock floor. Corbelling visible on the walls of the apses suggest that the temple was roofed.

The minor temple rests to the north and is six and a half meters long. It is entered through the eastern apse of the larger temple. Smaller stones have been used in its construction and it exhibits irregularities in design considered archaic or provincial.

The site was excavated between 1923 and 1926 by Sir Temi Zammit, then Director of Museums. The site was again excavated by John Davies Evans in 1954, and British archaeologist David Trump accurately dated the complex in the 1961 excavation.



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Ta' Hagrat, Mġarr, Malta
See all sites in Mġarr


Founded: 3600-3000 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Malta


3.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ian Chamberlain (10 months ago)
I hate to do bad reviews.I had asked at a tourist information office for bus details. She got on the website and confirmed i had to catch bus 101.The bus goes every hour.just missed the bus.It turned out the temple was closed anyway.I took two photographs. Not much else to do in the circumstances and the site is very small. It's at best the size of a tennis court and there are better ways to spend your precious time. I can't believe people book and pay to come here.13.11.2017..A lot of photographs posted here show photographs of other sites,even some of Gigantica,which this place definitely isn't .Ok if you are still curious and if you feel you have to see for yourself......It's 2019 and i was scrolling through my review photographs and had to add more comment to this place.I wish i hadn't hunted this place down and wasted an afternoon back in 2017.Say it the way it is.
Vyrenijus Andrijauskas (11 months ago)
This two old Temples in such small town are very small. There are only several big old stones constructions. Very nice (beautiful) church. Also very nice town. Something charming, small cafes, not si much tourists. You must stay, drink coffee and enjoy life in this area.
Radu Savin (13 months ago)
The best preserves temple in Malta! And definitely the most impressive
Juana Kliefken (13 months ago)
Very small, not really worth the way, if you ask me.
Evangeline Mifsud (18 months ago)
Interesting history to learn and good value entrance price. There is a museum section where different items are diaplayed, such as tools, rocks and much more to show how our ancestors survived, followed by information to explain each item. Outside you can take nice little stroll too see the ruins, followed by beautiful views of Gozo. On the way out there is a mini souvenir shop where you can pick up many different items to remember your trip or Malta. It's worth checking out, but as there is limited things to see and do there you will not need much time to see it all.
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