With an area of only 316 km², the Malta and Gozo archipelago has a very high density of buildings rich in history. Indeed, they contain information, secrets and riddles about our most distant ancestors. Today, Visiter-Malta invites you to take a look inside the famous Tarxian Temples, vestiges of the late Neolithic period.
The construction of these buildings dates back to the height of the temple period, so it allows us to contemplate skills in prehistoric art, architecture and to learn more about the rituals of the time. However, it is important to note that not all parts of this monument were built at the same time and therefore each has its own particularities.
The first part to be built was a megalithic structure that dates back to 3600 BC. The remains of this building can be seen today in the eastern extension of the site. Originally, it consisted of 5 semi-circular chambers (commonly known as apses) and a concave facade.
The East Temple was the first to be built in the Tarxian period (between 3000 and 2500 BC), closely followed by the other temples. This goes back to a time when prehistoric culture was at its height and existing buildings were redesigned, extended and embellished with remarkable works of art.
The South Temple, on the other hand, is the one with the most megalithic art. Indeed, there are stone blocks carved in relief, depicting various spiral shapes and representations of animals (goats, pigs and rams among others). It is assumed that these animals were used as offerings during rituals in these temples, as animal bones and flints were found in the cavity of an altar at the time.
Finally, the central temple was probably the last to be built since its layout is much more complex than the previous ones, the latter is composed of 6 apses. In addition, the passage connecting the first to the second pair of apses is blocked by a plate decorated with numerous spiral shapes. This suggests that this building could have limited access, and was thus reserved for a special group, an elite or insiders.