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Ggantija Temples

These temples were built even before the famous standing stones at Stonehenge. Ggantija Temples make up an incredible UNESCO World Heritage site and have an extraordinary history. Built between 3600 and 3200 B.C, they fell into disuse around 2500BC and were not fully revealed until the nineteenth century.

The name ‘Ggantija’ comes from the word ‘ġgant’, which in Maltese means ‘giant’, as Gozitans used to believe the temples must have been built by a race of giants due to their massive size. Some of these megaliths exceed five metres in length and weigh over fifty tons.

Hard-wearing coralline limestone is used for the construction of the outer walls (which is one of the reasons the buildings have survived so long) whilst softer, smoother, Globigerina limestone is reserved for inner furnishings such as doorways, altars, and decorative slabs. Each temple consists of a number of apses flanking a central corridor. There is evidence that internal walls would have been plastered and painted.