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 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

Ryan Smith (14 months ago)
This was included in the very advantageous and recommended thirty day Heritage Malta Multisite Pass. It was interesting to see but pales in comparison to the much more striking Ħaġar Qim temples. Recommended only if you have the Heritage Malta pass and want to see them all!
Guillaume Février (2 years ago)
A little better than Skorba as you can at least guess how the temple looked like and the main entrance with some stairs is preserved. Overall quite small though and not worth a detour. If you have seen Tarxien or Hagar Qim no need to come here.
Ibrahim Durkin (2 years ago)
It's quite a small temple site (compared with others in Malta) but exactly how many Neolithic Temple sites are left in Europe that you can visit? Amazing to think that it was built over 5,000 years ago! Walking in the footsteps of ancient men! I see other reviews where they complain about getting a ticket, I would advise buying them online. When we visited we went to the cafe in the square but they had sold out and directed us to the local council office, unfortunately this was closed. We went to the actual site and were told that we could buy tickets next to the other site in the town Ta Skorba, so we walked the 1 km there and bought a ticket in the cafe next to it (and had a delicious lunch as well!). Then walked back to this temple.
Eliane Oliveira (2 years ago)
The place is really nice to explore whit family, the only thing that makes difficulty is because the tickets is not sold on at the place. It’s confusing to get it from the other place, as it’s not clear information you need to buy it online before coming there.
D P (3 years ago)
More to see, less mud,
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