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Gozo - Kercem


Kerċem is a village in Gozo with a population of approximately 1,700 people. It lies close by to the south-east of Victoria, spread between the picturesque Lunzjata Valley, the green hills of Tal-Mixta, Għar Ilma and Ta' Dbieġi, and stretching up to the Pond of Għadira ta' San Rafflu and Xlendi cliffs.

Archaeological discoveries are evidence that Kercem was inhabited as early as in 5000-4500 BC known as the Ghar Dalam phase. Other significant findings, which unfortunately are not accessible to the public, include the Roman Baths and the Roman Catacombs.

Kerċem turned into a village during the late Middle Ages, around an ancient chapel dedicated to Pope Gregory the Great built around 1581. The chapel was however replaced by the present church, which was declared as a parish on 10 March 1885. The parish church is the only Gozitan church which is jointly dedicated to two saints namely Pope St. Gregory whose feast is celebrated on 12th March and also to Our Lady of Perpetual Help whose annual feast is celebrated on the second Sunday of July.

The hamlet of Santa Lucija is incorporated with Kercem and it is inhabited by few country people in old houses which were disorderly built around an old chapel dedicated to St. Lucy.

Kercem is known for its cultural activities including the annual Għadira Fair, which is a popular traditional family fair in the countryside area of San Rafflu.

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