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Gudja


Gudja has a population of 2,923 and is located on a small hill in the south of Malta overlooking the Malta International Airport. In the past, the small surrounding villages of Safi, Kirkop, Ħal-Farruġ, Luqa, Mqabba, Birżebbuġa and Tarxien all formed part of the parish of Gudja. This is why Gudja’s coat of arms bears the motto "Pluribus Parens" meaning “Mother of many children". 

The village has a palace called Palazzo Bettina and it is believed that Napoleon lived there during his short stay in Malta when the French ruled the island.

The parish church is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and is the only church in Malta with 3 bell towers. The Church offers some interesting artistic objects such as the titular painting of the Assumption of the Virgin and the painting of Our Lady of the Carmel, both of which were painted by the Italian painter Pietro Gagliardi in 1887 and 1889 respectively, together with the interesting painting of 'The Death of Saint Joseph'. But of all these, the most important sculpture inside the church is the titular statue of the Assumption of Our Lady, which was sculpted out of solid wood in 1807 by the Maltese Vincenzo Dimech. This is the oldest processional statue in the Maltese Islands featuring the Assumption of Our Lady. 

The titular feast of the Assumption of Mary is celebrated on the 15th August whilst other feasts celebrated in the small village are those dedicated to Our Lady of Rosary celebrated on the first Sunday of October and Our Lady of Consolation which is celebrated on the last Sunday of October.

Gudja also has a famous 500 year-old chapel of Bir Miftuħ ("open well"). Bir Miftuh was already established as a parish prior to 1436 and so it is one of the first twelve parishes of the Maltese Islands. In the Chapel of St. Mary one can glimpse the elegant architecture of this medieval chapel with its impressive vaulted ceilings upon which one can still enjoy several restored fragments of frescoes depicting dramatic scenes from the Last Judgement. Each May and June an annual Music Festival organized by Din l-Art Helwa is held here.

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