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Gozo- Xaghra

Xaghra is the second largest village in Gozo, with a population of 4,200 people. The Latin motto of the village is Librat et evolat meaning poised and soaring, a motto which suits the village perfectly since Xaghra is poised and soaring like a bird over the whole island of Gozo.

Xaghra is thought to the the first inhabited area of Gozo as it boasts of the Ggantija Temples, the Xagħra Stone Circle, as well as Xerri's Grotto and Ninu's Cave. The remains of Santa Verna Temple dates back to the Neolithic period, with three horizontal blocks lining the east side of the uprights that are similar to the high bench on the facades of some of the major temples.

The Ġgantija Temples also date back to the Neolithic period and are the earliest of a series of megalithic temples in Malta. These temples are more than 5500 years old and are some of the world's oldest manmade religious structures. In fact these temples have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These temples, which stand at the end of the Xaghra plateau, facing towards the southeast, are the site of a fertility cult for the numerous figurines and statues that were found on site. Between Santa Verna and Ggantija temples, there is another prehistoric site of great importance: the Gozo Stone Circle known as Tal-Qacca Hypogeum. The site consists of a series of natural cavities of various sizes adapted for burials which excavations have produced knowledge about the funerary customs of the prehistoric people of the Maltese Islands.

Xerri’s Grotto and Ninu’s Cave are close to each other and both feature stalactites and stalagmites discovered underneath private houses which can be accessed by the general public.

In Xaghra one can also see the Museum of Toys, a large collection of dolls and dolls' houses and an array of playthings for boys and girls from several parts of Europe from the nineteenth and twentieth century.

A visit to a typical windmill, il-Mithna ta’ Kola where a folklore museum was set up in the miller’s rooms is also a must.

Another natural attraction in Xaghra is Ir-Ramla. It is the most natural bay of the whole Maltese archipelago, which got its name from its reddish golden sand. On the inner end of the beach there are sand dunes full of endemic plants such a the sand rest harrow, the marram grass, as well as sea spurge and large variety of dune animals such as the earwig, the histerid beetle and wasps amongst others. Overlooking this bay is the Calypso Cave, which according to legend, is the cave mentioned by Homer in The Odyssey. The hero, Ulysses, was returning from Troy to Ithaca after the Trojan war when he was shipwrecked on Ogygia, the island of Calypso and the abode of the nymph who succeeded in bewitching Ulysses and in keeping him on her island for seven whole years.

Xagħra Parish is dedicated to Our Lady of Victories, locally known as 'il-Bambina' with its liturgical feast being celebrated annually on the 8th September.

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