Friday, July 12, 2024



Zebbug is perched on a hilltop to the north of Gozo, and is  very close to the popular sea side resort of Marsalforn.  The village is actually built on two adjoining hills, and is said to be the highest village in Gozo above sea level.  In 1738 the owner of a nearby field discovered a deposit of onyx and many churches in Malta and Gozo have works of art sculpted from this onyx.  The village church is dedicated to Santa Marija, the Assumption; the parish was established on 28th April 1688 and is the oldest parish church consecrated on Gozo.

The name 'Zebbug'  means olives or olive trees in Maltese.  The coat of arms emblem comprises of a silver shield with an olive tree on a slope, and on it a red band with three pointed yellow stars.


'Terra Sublimis'

'A lofty region'

'Art fuqanija'

Zebbug enjoys fantastic sea and country views, some would say the best in the whole of the Maltese islands!  The village is situated some 3.5 km away from Victoria, the capital of Gozo and the nearby resort of Marsalforn is just a short distance away.


Xlendi is situated to the south west of Gozo.  The name is probably derived from the word 'xelandion', a type of Byzantine vessel which may have anchored in the port.  The church here is dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.  The front section of the building dates back to 1868; in 1969 it was enlarged at the rear.  Dedication of the church took place in 1974.

Motto '
Navium Tutela
' Protection For Vessels
Harsien Ghall-Imriekeb

Xlendi falls under Munxar for administrative purposes, though it does have its own motto (see above).  A white statue of the apostle Saint Andrew, patron saint of fishermen, stands looking out over the port. You will find here the Xlendi Tower, built in 1650 and  perched on the promontory.  Always a 'must' visit, Xlendi is hugely popular, and rightly so.  It is a delightful place; wedged between two cliffs and the stuff of many a photograph !  Come here for the bathing, the stunning scenery, the walking, or just to stop and gaze at the sunsets.


Xaghra lies on a hill in the central north east of Gozo.  The name means wilderness in Maltese, which tells something of the area before it was inhabited.  Xaghra has a beautiful parish church which is dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary.  It is known locally as 'Il-Vitorija', the Blessed Virgin Mary of Victories.  The parish of Xaghra was established by Bishop Cocco-Palmeri on 28th April 1688.  The parish was originally sited in the chapel of Saint Anthony Abbot in the same village.  The present church grew around the original building recorded first in the late seventeenth century.  The foundation stone was laid on 2nd October 1815 and it was consecrated on 26th May 1878.  The title of Basilica was conferred on the parish on 26th August 1967.  The church is covered throughout with marble, and a main attraction is a beautiful statue of the young Virgin Mary, il-Bambina, brought over from Marseilles in 1878.

'Librat Et Evolat'
'Poised and Soaring'
'Tisseqqer U Tittajjar'

Xaghra is famous for its prehistoric sites; the temples of Ggantija and the nearby Neolithic site of Santa Verna.  Calypso's cave also lies within Xaghra.  The village also has two grottos which have stalactites and stalagmites, namely Ta'Xerri and Ta'Ninu, both of which are open to the public.  There is also a museum of toys and an old wheat grinding windmill which has been fully restored and houses a collection of agricultural and domestic items from years long past.


Xewkija lies 3 kms east of Victoria.  It's name is derived from the Maltese word 'Xewk', meaning thistles or thorns.  It is dominated by a huge rotunda church completed in 1971 having taken around 20 years to build.  It was built to rival the Mosta Rotunda in Malta and it succeeds in height, but not in diameter.  The dome is larger than St Paul's Cathedral in London, and can hold a congregation of 3000 - around the entire population of Xewkija.  The village was the first parish outside the capital, and it is said to be the first place on Gozo to convert to Christianity.

Nemo Me Impune Lacessit'
'No One Shall Attack Me With Impunity' 
'Min Jaghmel Ghalija Ma Jghaddijiex Lixxa'


Victoria or Rabat is divided into two parishes, that of Saint Mary, The Assumption, with its Cathedral in the citadel, and the Basilica Church of Saint George in the lower part of the town.

Saint George Parish Rabat is the name of the medieval town of Gozo.  It acquired city status, in 1887, and in 1897 was named by the British Colonial Government of the day as Victoria,  to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  'Rabat' though,  is Arabic and archaic Maltese for suburb.  Rabat has two parishes; the Cathedral and the parish of Saint George.  The parish church of Saint George lies just off the main square, It-Tokk.  It is situated in the very centre of the old town, and the parish is thought to have originated in medieval times; probably around 1450.  The foundation stone of the present church was laid on 7th August 1672.  It was consecrated on 21st September 1755.  On 6th September 1958, the church was bestowed the title of Basilica.  The inside is covered with marble, with a very impressive bronze and gold gilded canopy over the high altar.  The main attraction however, is a statue of the patron saint, Saint George, sculpted in wood in 1838.


'A Magna Maxima'
From Great Supreme
Minn Kbira, L-Oghla

The Cathedral - Assumption of The Blessed Virgin MaryA cathedral church is one that is presided over by a bishop and in which the bishop has its cathedra, or throne.  There is much history, but the foundation stone of the present Cathedral was laid on 21st September 1697.  The new church was officially inaugurated on the eve of the Assumption, 14th August 1711.  The present Cathedral Chapter is made up of eighteen Canons who have the title of Monsignors.  Since 1864, Gozo has had seven Bishops.