We have been to a couple of smaller megalithic temples on Malta already – but now we have made it down to the most famous of all the old temples. The Hagar Qim is a bigger complex than the two small temples of Skorba and Ta Hagrat we have visited so far. It becomes obvious at the moment we arrive – they actually have a parking lot for visitors to the temple – not like the other two where you had to search for a random available parking lot in the village. And there are big buildings where you can buy tickets – unlike the ticket office at Skorba temple which were located in the local bar. Unlike the other temples you won’t have this place to yourself or shared with only a few other visitors. There are quite a lot of people visiting this temple and it is a bit difficult to get pictures without a ton of other visitors spread all over the photo.
We get the ticket and then we go inside to visit the place. The first thing you do when got your ticket is go inside the local 4D or was it 5D entertainment center where you pick up your glasses and start to see a show with some sort of sound movement and smell effect – which doesn’t seem that pronounced to me – but I guess they have to do something to justify the steep 10€ admission fee for a fairly small temple complex. At least the show does try to do a recreation of what the temples might have been and a bit of the rediscovery and reconstruction of the temples.
After the show we head out to see the two temples at the area. The first one we get to is the main temple of Hagar Qim. It was built around 5,000 years ago and it was a fairly big structure. Today it has been rebuilt the temple which was in ruins. The view of the temple from a distance is disturbed somewhat by the protective construction they have built over the temple to protect the stones from rain and sun which might result in further deterioration of the of stones.
The temple is pretty big and it was built with different chambers which made it possible for the sun to reach them only at summer solstice. The reconstruction of the temple is so complete it is possible to get an idea of what the place used to be like in the old days – though there is no roof on the construction so you have to make your own assumption of what used to be on top since there is no certain proof of what used to cover the remaining stone structures.
They found some female statues at the temple but these statues have been taken away and been put on display at the archeological museum of Valetta so you will have to go there to see the statues found at this temple.
After we have seen the Hagar Qim temple we walk for about ½ a kilometer to reach another temple. It is the Mnajdra Temple. This temple is from about the same period and it shares many of the same features. Though the Mnajdra temple sort of consist of a couple of different substructures which together make up the temple complex.
After the visit to the Mnajdra temple we walk back towards the entrance complex. The path back goes across some land outside the temples from where there is a view of one of the many towers build around Malta to protect the island against sudden pirate attacks or attacks from more organized enemies. The walk back is nice in the warm spring sun where we can take it easy and enjoy the warmth and a few spring flowers spread around the landscape.