Daily Archives: August 20, 2014

Mnajdra Temples | Qrendi, Malta | 20 August 2014

MIDDLE TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE
The architecture of this temple is very simple when compared to the South Temple. A porthole slab leads to a small chamber built within the thickness of the temple wall.

Information from:
Heritage Malta

© Tony Blood - Mnajdra Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Mnajdra Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Mnajdra Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Mnajdra Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

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Statuette | Ħagar Qim Temples | Qrendi, Malta | 20 August 2014

STONE STATUETTES
A collection of four statuettes depicting obese figures were found below some steps during restoration works in 1949.

(These figurines are now on display at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta).

Information from:
Heritage Malta

© Tony Blood - Statuette, Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Statuette, Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

Mnajdra Temples | Qrendi, Malta | 20 August 2014

Mnajdra is found in an isolated position on a rugged stretch of Malta’s southern coast overlooking the isle of Fifla. It is some 500m away from Ħaġar Qim Temples. It consists of three buildings facing a common oval forecourt. The first and oldest structure dates to the Ġgantija phase (3600 – 3200 BC). The second structure to be built was the South Temple, constructed in the early Tarxien phase (3150 – 2500 BC). The Central Temple, inserted between the other two, was the last to be built. Remains to the north-east and south of these buildings indicate that these three structures are only the best preserved of a larger complex.

The South Temple has its entrance set in a concave monumental facade and leads to two rooms, or apses. On the left-hand side, a decorated porthole doorway (a square-shaped opening cut in the centre of a stone block) leads into a small chamber. The apse to the right has a small rectangular opening which connects it to a chamber within the thickness of the walls accessible only from the rear of the building and a porthole doorway at the top of a small flight of stairs leading into another small chamber. Within the latter chamber is a small niche accessed through a small porthole slab set within a trilithon. This arrangement features on the Maltese 5, 2 and 1 euro cent coins. The four horizontal courses at the top of the walls in this area are perhaps the best indication of what the building’s roof would have looked like.

Opposite the main entrance is the doorway to the second set of apses flanked by two large blocks decorated with small drilled holes. This doorway and the decorated blocks mark the position of the rising sun on the first day of spring and autumn (the Equinoxes) and the first day of summer and winter (the Solstices).

Mnajdra’s Central Temple is built on an artificial platform and has an unusual facade in that it has two doorways, a central porthole doorway and a second open doorway with a single step to its left. The first pair of rooms are built in well-finished smooth upright stone blocks supporting two horizontal courses. There is an engraving of a temple facade on a large upright next to the doorway into the inner apses. These apses hold a central covered niche and a porthole doorway in the left-hand apse, leading to a small chamber built into the thickness of the wall.

In the East Temple, the low rubble walls visible today are modern reconstructions; they follow the original plan of this structure as indicated by the torba (crushed limestone) floor which survived. The upright stone blocks in the main doorway and in the entrance to the central apse are original. Two of them retain several irregular lines of drilled holes which have been the focus of many studies and theories on their possible meaning.

Information from:
Web: http://heritagemalta.org/museums-sites/mnajdra-temples/

© Tony Blood - Mnajdra Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Mnajdra Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Mnajdra Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Mnajdra Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

Blue Grotto | Qrendi, Malta | 20 August 2014

This natural picturesque grotto and its neighbouring system of caverns mirrors the brilliant phosphorescent colours of the underwater flora.

The Blue Grotto is located near “Wied iz-Zurrieq” south of the town of Qrendi. A number of caves, including the Blue Grotto, which is the biggest one, can be reached by boat from Wied iz-Zurrieq. From Wied iz-Zurrieq one can also see the small island of Filfa. Filfla is uninhabited except for a unique species of lizards that live there. When Malta was a British colony, the island of Filfla was used for target practice by the British Armed Forces. The island is now protected under Maltese law.

The scenery around this area of the island is breathtaking. The cliffs rise out of the blue Mediterranean and the froth of the waves as they hit the rock face can make for some excellent shots.

Information from:
Web: http://www.visitmalta.com/en/info/bluegrotto

© Tony Blood - Blue Grotto. Qrendi, Malta, 29 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Blue Grotto. Qrendi, Malta, 29 September 2014

Ħagar Qim Temples | Qrendi, Malta | 20 August 2014

TEMPLE ROOFING
The remains of a roof can be found inside the chambers. The horizontal courses above the upright slabs protrude over the one beneath. These courses are the remains of the base of a corbelled roof, the type of construction that may have originally been used to roof over parts of the temple.

Information from:
Heritage Malta

© Tony Blood - Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

Ħagar Qim Temples | Qrendi, Malta | 20 August 2014

The temple of Hagar Qim (c. 3600 – 3200 BC) stands on a hilltop overlooking the sea and the islet of Filfla. The temple itself consists of a single temple unit, although it is not clear if it was originally constructed as a four or five-apse structure.

Other temple ruins stand a few metres away from the main temple and the forecourt and facade follow the pattern typical of temples across the Islands. Particularly noteworthy are the larger orthostats at the corners, which are notched to take the second of the horizontal courses above.

Various items of interest have been unearthed at Hagar Qim, notably a decorated pillar altar, two table-altars and some of the ‘fat lady’ statues on display in the National Museum of Archaeology.

Information from:
Web: http://www.visitmalta.com/en/info/hagarqim

© Tony Blood - Entrance to Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Entrance to Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Table Alter, Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Table Alter, Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014