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Marsaxlokk is a traditional fishing village located in the south-eastern part of Malta, with a population of 3,277 people. The village’s name comes from the words Marsa, which means "port" and Xlokk, which means “south east”. The parish church is dedicated to Our Lady of Pompeii and its feast is celebrated on the 1st Sunday of August.
During the 9th century BC, the first Phoenicians landed and set up trading posts on the Maltese Islands in this village. During the Great Siege of Malta, Marsaxlokk’s harbour was used as an anchorage by the Turkish fleet. Overlooking the northern part of Marsaxlokk Bay is the hill known as Tas-Silġ, which contains remains of megalithic temples of the Tarxien phase. From the end of the 6th century BC to the 1st century AD, the hill was used as a religious site, notably as a temple dedicated to Astarte/Hera.
In recent decades because of new shipping trends and because of the introduction of large and specialised container vessels meant that for Malta to take advantage of its position in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, a new facility for container shipping had to be built. The Malta Freeport Terminal at Marsaxlokk has developed into a major container terminal in the Mediterranean, equipped with the latest in technology and serving many of the giant operators in the container carrier sector.
In the past, a great percentage of the population worked as full-time fishermen. Though the number of fishermen has decreased, mainly because people from other localities have moved to the village, most of Malta's fish supplies are caught by fishermen coming from this port. Swordfish, tuna, and the popular 'lampuki' are caught in abundance between spring and late autumn. On weekdays, the catch is taken to the fish-market in Valletta, while on Sundays fish is retailed by the fishermen themselves in the very busy Sunday market that sells everything from fish, local produce and groceries to souvenirs, clothing and footwear.
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