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Lija


Ħal Lija is a small village in the centre of the Maltese islands with an approximate population of 2,797. It forms part of the three villages of Malta together with H’Attard and Hal Balzan.

The Megalithic tombs unearthed by Din l-Art Helwa in 1967 provide evidence of Lija’s origin from Malta’s prehistory. Ħal Lija has several old houses of character, large citrus gardens and it is also the official University Residence of the University of Malta. Many of the large country residences found in this village have seen a variety of historical events. For example, in 1837, a time when primary education was introduced in Malta, Lija was among the first to have its own school being situated in one of the large houses adjacent to San Anton Gardens. Villa Gourgion Depiro situated on the right hand side facing the church was the meeting place for the National Assembly whilst drafting the 1921 constitution on three different occassions. The unique Belveder tower is a beautiful piece of architecture and a landmark in Transfiguration Avenue, which used to form part of the garden of Villa Gourgion.

Ħal Lija became parish in 1594 and has a baroque parish church and seven other small chapels. The parish church dedicated to Our Saviour has priceless artwork of Giuseppe Calì that can be found surrounding the church's ceilings. The village feast is celebrated on the 6th of August and it attracts thousands of locals and tourists since the fireworks display of this village are well renowned as one of the best around the island.

The Maltese Citrus festival organized annually in Ħal Lija is a must to visit.

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