Monthly Archives: August 2014

Our Saviours Hill (Tas Salvatur Hill) | Masalforn, Gozo | 30 August 2014

To the south of Marsalforn is a fertile valley named after the village. The valley is bounded by several hillocks and used to be known as the “haven of hillocks”. The most famous of these is tas-Salvatur (Our Saviours Hill) also referred locally as Tal-Merzuq Hill (Ray of Light) due to the legends surrounding it, recorded by Giovanni Abela in the 17th Century.

This volcano like hill has acquired the attention of the people since 1901, when a large wooden cross was erected on its peak. Three years later, when Gozo was consecrated to Christ the Saviour, a stone statue of Christ replaced the cross. This was in turn replaced by a gigantic concrete statue towering twelve meteres above the hill, which remains to this day.

Information from:
Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marsalforn

This hill can be seen from much of Gozo, topped with a statue of the Risen Christ. This statue was placed here in the 1970s and sits 320-foot on the top of Tal-Merżuq Hill (now popularly know as Tas-Salvator – The Redeemer). This is a place of popular religious myth and legend. According to tradition, black smoke was once been seen coming out of the hill and this led to the belief that it was a volcano. Some still believe this although geologists dismiss the idea as nonsense. Another legend says that God punished the people of Gozo by engulfing the Island in darkness for three whole days. At the end of these three days a ray of light (merżuq) was seen coming out of the hill (hence the name Tal-Merżuq).

A statue of Christ was first put on the hill in 1904 when Gozo was consecrated to Jesus the Redeemer (leading to the popular name Tas-Salvatur) . It replaced a wooden cross that had been erected even earlier. The first statue of Christ was not resistant to the elements, however, and had to be replaced in the 1960s. The second statue was also destroyed – this time when its supporting pedestal gave way during a thunderstorm. Parts of this statue can still be seen strewn around the hilltop. Today’s statue is made of reinforced concrete and is so far surviving well!

Information from:
Web: http://www.visitgozo.com/en/item/sight-seeing-places-of-interest/tas-salvatur-hill-1144/

© Tony Blood - Our Saviours Hill (Tas Salvatur Hill). Masalforn, Gozo, 30 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Our Saviours Hill (Tas Salvatur Hill). Masalforn, Gozo, 30 August 2014

Fungus Rock | Dwerja, Gozo | 30 August 2014

Fungus Rock is one of a trio of spectacular natural landmarks in Dwejra, along with the famous Azure Window and The Inland Sea.

The Rock – known in Maltese as Il-Gebla Tal-General (or General’s Rock) is a small islet in the form of a 60 metres high massive lump of limestone situated right at the entrance to an almost circular lagoon.

During the times of the Knights, it was thought that a particular tuber which grows on this little island had medicinal properties and could cure various ailments.  So much so that the Grandmaster declared it illegal for anyone other than authorised knights to climb onto the rock and pick the plant, Today, tests are being conducted to verify whether these medical claims have any foundation.

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

© Tony Blood - Fungus Rock, Dwerja, Gozo, 30 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Fungus Rock, Dwerja, Gozo, 30 August 2014

Azure Window | Dwerja, Gozo | 30 August 2014

The Azure Window is another spectacular natural landmark in Dwejra, along with The Inland Sea and Fungus Rock. The Azure Window at the end of the cliff, is a giant doorway, through which one can admire the blue expanse beyond the cliff.

It must be one of the most photographed vistas of the Islands, and is particularly spectacular during the winter, when waves crash high inside the arch. The sea around is very deep and of a dark blue hue, which explains why it is called the Azure Window. The rocks in this area are encrusted with fossilized crustaceans, evidence that most of the island was once covered by water. In front of the Azure Window is the Blue Hole, and The Chimney, two of the most popular dive sites in Gozo.

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

© Tony Blood - Azure Window, Dwerja, Gozo, 30 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Azure Window, Dwerja, Gozo, 30 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Azure Window, Dwerja, Gozo, 30 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Azure Window, Dwerja, Gozo, 30 August 2014

Żebbuġ Parish Church | Żebbuġ, Gozo | 30 August 2014

Many churches in Malta and Gozo have works of art made from this onyx but iż-Żebbuġ church is by far the most spectacular. It is covered with this semi-precious stone. The high altar, the choir, and the baptistery are all sculpted out of this onyx.

Iż-Żebbuġ became an independent parish in 1688 and the building of the present church (without the onyx) started in 1690. The church, dedicated to Santa Marija (St Mary) the Assumption, was consecrated in 1726. The Cathedral apart, it is the oldest parish church to be consecrated in Gozo.

Worthy of special mention is the altarpiece of the Immaculate Conception in a chapel in the left transept, known by the locals as tal-Virtut (of the miracles). Local folklore has it that the radiant face of the Virgin turns yellowish and pale before an impending natural catastrophe. It is also said that one day, when some corsairs dared to devastate the countryside as far as the village, a lady that resembled the image in the altarpiece appeared on the spot hurling stones to repel the enemy.

Information from:
Web: http://www.visitgozo.com/en/item/towns-villages/iz-zebbug-1165/

© Tony Blood - Żebbuġ Parish Church, Żebbuġ, Gozo, 30 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Żebbuġ Parish Church, Żebbuġ, Gozo, 30 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Żebbuġ Parish Church, Żebbuġ, Gozo, 30 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Żebbuġ Parish Church, Żebbuġ, Gozo, 30 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Żebbuġ Parish Church, Żebbuġ, Gozo, 30 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Żebbuġ Parish Church, Żebbuġ, Gozo, 30 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Żebbuġ Parish Church, Żebbuġ, Gozo, 30 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Żebbuġ Parish Church, Żebbuġ, Gozo, 30 August 2014

Fishermen | Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta | 29 August 2014

"Yesterday I bought 50 Euros of squid. This, we use it for the bait. So we cut it into pieces like this and they float. But today it stays at the side of the rocks, not so far away. I had no luck, I caught nothing."  Geatano Micallef, Fisheman. Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta. 29 August 2014.

“Yesterday I bought 50 Euros of squid. This, we use it for the bait. So we cut it into pieces like this and they float. But today it stays at the side of the rocks, not so far away. I had no luck, I caught nothing.”
Geatano Micallef, Fisheman. Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta. 29 August 2014.

"You have to be careful where you walk here. When you get to the inlet you have to run and then jump across it but watch your head on the other side because there is a rock. Some rocks fell down years ago and now it's harder to get to the other side."  Fisherman. Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta. 29 August 2014.

“You have to be careful where you walk here. When you get to the inlet you have to run and then jump across it but watch your head on the other side because there is a rock. Some rocks fell down years ago and now it’s harder to get to the other side.”
Fisherman. Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta. 29 August 2014.

"I've been coming here for 10 years so climbing up is easy to me." Fisherman. Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta. 29 August 2014.

“I’ve been coming here for 10 years so climbing up is easy to me.”
Fisherman. Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta. 29 August 2014.

Madonna Statue | Chapel of the Immaculate Conception | L-Aħrax, Mellieha, Malta | 27 August 2014

The Madonna Statue is located in front of the Immaculate Conception Chapel at the end of Marfa Ridge road. It was built in 1870 with an accompanying chapel which, legend has it, was built by a fisherman in thanks for surviving when his boat capsized. The original chapel was at one point in danger of collapsing so a new one was built in 1961. This is an idyllic spot for those searching for some untouched countryside, and is often used for picnics.

Information from:
Web: http://exploremellieha.com/placesofinterest

© Tony Blood - Madonna Statue. Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Madonna Statue. Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Madonna Statue. Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Madonna Statue. Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Madonna Statue. Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014