The main mystery of the Maltese Islands are considered megalithic structures. It is believed that this is — the temple sites, and that they were built from 4500 BC But, over the centuries, the islands affected two major destructive forces: the first — not the war subsided, and the second — the Maltese population, which had a need for a stone for his own purposes, to understand the ancient temples on the building material.
Let us get acquainted with preserved colossal structures together.
Yes, each accompanied by photographs of the complex of temples, as well as video.
It is only one example of the war — from the present: in 1943, Malta became a springboard for the invasion of the allied troops to Sicily, and attacks on Italy. And Maltese possessions were devastated: Malta has gone through the most powerful bombardment (within 154 days, she had dropped 6,700 tons of bombs).
Another factor: the ancient stone slabs were removed not only the common people. They were on and the construction of harbors and forts, the latter then actively applied the Order of Malta during the Great (Turkish) siege, they left and the construction or reconstruction of cities.
If we take note of a third factor — the time is now, most of the temple buildings are heaps of ruins: randomly scattered boulders of limestone, ruined remains of walls and fences. In all the islands to the present day found the remains of 23 temples.
There is not a single church, which would be reached in its original form to this day. It is believed that only four of all of the comparable one piece — Ggantija Temples, Hagar Quim, Mnajdra and Tarxien. But, essentially saying — it is not so: in pursuit of the tourist attraction of their sad fate befell another — illiterate and low-quality reconstruction, and in fact — a terrible remake.
In the future, this issue will be raised separately, as long as we have no choice as to get acquainted with their performance today.
Ggantija Temples in Xaghra (Xaghra — "Giant") are in the center of the island of Gozo and are a one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. It is believed today, Ggantija temples were built around 3600 BC
The construction consists of two separate church with a variety of inputs, but overall the back wall. Each of the temples has several concave facade, to whom they arranged a platform of huge stone blocks. The oldest temple complex consists of three semi-circular rooms, arranged in a trefoil. The present-day scientists believe that this represents the trinity of past, present and future, or the birth, life and death.
Excavation on the site began in the mid-nineteenth century. Scientists so far lucky enough to extract from the ground the whole complex, but could not clearly answer the eternal question: Why? Another question I have — about the way of construction. Due to the enormous size of megaliths, when some of them reach up to 8 meters in length and weigh more than 50 tonnes, the locals thought in the past that the temples erected giants.
All of the Maltese megalithic temples are built on the same scheme. They are all designed in the same architectural style. Scientists believe that it was a unique civilization. But there is no answer to the question of why and how this civilization disappeared. It remains an unsolved mystery, where the same left temple builders of Malta. After all, more than anywhere else on the Mediterranean coast is not to find traces of their stay, even temporarily.
Watch Online Malta — Temple Ġgantija:
Hagar Quim (Hagar Qim)
Temple of Hagar Quim Krendi located near the village, about 15 km south-west of the capital of Malta — Valletta. Opened in 1839 Hagar Quim (literally "prayer stones") dated to ~ 3600-3200. BC
The construction stands on top of a hill with views of the sea is revealed and the islet of Filfla (Filfla), and is a whole complex of the 3 temples, surrounded by a thick wall of general.
This megalithic object of antiquity decorated carved spirals, animals and idols, all made out of obsidian and flint. Huge slabs of limestone form a series of ellipses, placed at the top of the building.
Hagar Quim — the largest and most well-preserved temple complex of Malta. He's having a shape of a leaf clover consists of four or five apses, has a courtyard and facade. Such a system is typical in the neolithic temples all over Malta.
Watch videos Malta — Hagar Quim Temple:
Mnajdra (literally "look") lies at the foot of the hill on which is Hagar Quim, on a steep Along the shore, staring at the island of Filfla. Age of construction dates back to 3.5-3.2 million years BC His three temples, perhaps, preserved on the island better than others. It is believed that it is aimed at the rising sun during the equinoxes (March 20 and September 22) and solstices (June 21 and December 21).
The first and is believed to be the oldest temple (north-east) has a simple three-apse structure. Its construction dates back to 3600-3200 BC, following the construction of Ggantija. The interior walls were reconstructed, but the small rack — are original.
The closest temple is the largest of all, but most impressive is still lower (southwestern) Mnajdra temple. True, it is badly damaged facade.
By the relics found on Mnajdra, include stone and clay figurines, shell and stone ornaments, flint tools and pottery. It is believed that the absence of any iron objects is one of the hallmarks of its Neolithic origin.
Watch Online Malta — Mnajdra Temple:
Tarxien Temples (Tarxien Temples)
Tarxien Temples (literally "large stone slabs") refers to the years 3600-2500. BC, this complex with a capacity of four megalithic temple, is the most time consuming of all the temple buildings in Malta.
Multiple altars carved in stone images of animals and spirals, fragments of altars — all of this, it is believed, according to a complex set of religious beliefs of ancient Maltese.
Watch videos Malta — Tarxien Temples
Tarxien today survived much worse than Ġgantija or Hagar Quim, but despite this, his superb ruins still impress guests.
Saflieni Hypogeum Hal (Hal Saflieni Hypogeum)
The word "Hypogeum" in Greek means "under the earth." Hypogeum Hal Saflieni — an underground complex, carved into the rock that was used temple builders are thought to be, and as a sanctuary and a place of burial. It was discovered in 1902 in the course of construction work. His three underground levels relate to the period between about 3600 and 2400 years BC. e. This monument is considered one of the major prehistoric monuments in the world.
Hypogeum, or underground cave — a unique monument and a great example of underground architecture. Excavations in this place brought a wealth of archaeological material — pottery, human bones, personal ornaments such as beads and amulets, figurines and small carvings of animals.
The Hypogeum consists of halls, chambers and passages hewn deep in the rocks, and occupying an area of about 500 square meters. m, a total of 33 rooms, niches and the camera. Hewn in stone rooms are of various sizes and shapes, and are finished to the canons of various skill. The complex is located on three levels — the upper level (3600-3300 gg. BCE), medium (3300-3000 gg. BCE) and lower (3150-2500 gg. BCE). The deepest room in the lower level is 10.6 meters below the surface.
The upper level consists of a large hollow with a central passage and chambers cut on both sides. Middle level consists of various chambers with a very smooth finish to the walls, giving the impression of a stone masonry.
The Hypogeum is interesting and the fact that the walls of his chambers painted with red ocher, an ornament in the form of a spiral. It is believed that this pattern symbolizes prosperity and a source of food, and the image of a spiral was associated with the idea of the continuation and renewal of life.
After 2500's. BC he turned into a necropolis, which found the remains of 30 thousand people. In the holy well of detected: the accompanying equipment and statues, in particular, terracotta statuette of a sleeping priestess. Part of the cameras today — is left for future excavations.
Watch Online: Malta — The Hypogeum Hal Saflieni Temple:
Ar Dalam (Ghar Dalam)
Dalam Cave Art — a very important historical landmark, as it was discovered here were the earliest traces of human settlement on Malta, emerged about 7400 years ago.
The exhibition consists of two parts: the caves and the museum, which exhibited many notable findings from animal bones to human artefacts. The cave was dug river, with a bed of turns at a right angle. The cave has a depth of 144 meters, but only the first 50 meters are open to visitors.
In Valletta, the capital of Malta, the archaeologists also found a network of underground tunnels. And there are doubts about whether it is the underground city of Malta, whether the ancient water or sewerage.
For centuries in Europe, it was believed that the Knights Crusaders built an underground city on the Mediterranean island of Malta, and among the people there were rumors of secret passages and Military Hospitaller Order of the maze.
In our time, the workers found the right under the urban area of the underground reservoir. Next to his head, at a depth of about 12 m, and they found a hole in the wall — the entrance to the tunnel. He walked under the square and then combined with other channels. Trying to pass along these corridors failed — they have been blocked. All found the corridors are quite high arch that there could easily pass adult. However, the researchers believe that this is only a small part of the once extensive water distribution system.
Watch Online: Malta — The Temple Art Dalam: