This cave was formed around two million years ago.
Triq Ghar Dalam, Birżebbuġa
Dalam Cave and Museum
This fortified wall dates back to the Bronze Age, around 1,500 before Christ and it is the oldest fortification structure in the Maltese Islands. Built in the shape of a ‘D’ with a height of 5 metres, this wall was intended to close off the gorge of a hill on top where a Bronze Age village thrived. In fact, some huts were discovered on this site which were habitated by Bronze Age people who built the wall in order to defend their community.
Fortified Wall at Borġ in‑Nadur
In ancient times, Wied Dalam used to form part of a river which ended in Birżebbuġa Harbour. Its name derives from Għar Dalam cave which is found in the area. In this valley sits a Roman country-house known as ‘Ta’ Kaċċatura’ which dates to the second century before Christ, although it could even date to the Punic period. Like other Roman villas, this country-house was used for the production of olive oil. It also includes a large cistern whose ceiling rests on large stone columns. Inaccessable
Dalam Valley & Ta’ Kaċċatura Villa (Inaccesble)
This semi-circular coastal battery is one of many built by the Order of St John between 1715 and 1716 to defend the coast against enemy landings. It includes two blockhouses and a redan on its rear, and was named after the knight Francesco Maria Ferretti who donated the sum of 917 scudi for its construction. In order to defend St George’s Bay, in 1770 it was equipped with four guns which were increased to six in 1785, even though it could take up a maximum of eight guns.
The chapel of Our Lady Help of Christians was built in 1833 by Dr Matteo Cachia adjacent to his residential house. Inside, the chapel comprises one altar. In front of the chapel stands a statue which is a replica of the titular painting and which was already in place by 1861. This chapel is private and not open to the public.
S Cachia Zammit Street
Chapel of Our Lady Help of Christians
The chapel of St Joseph was built by Emmanuele V. Zammit in 1871 within the garden of his residential house. It is built in a Gothic style. This chapel is private and not open to the public.
S Cachia Zammit Street Birżebbuġa
St Joseph Chapel
These remains could possibly date to the Classical era or the previous Bronze Age. The pits hewn in rock indicate a storage for grain, an important resource in the diet of Man since time immemorial, whilst the cart ruts could have formed part of a primitive transportation system. As some of the pits are found underwater, they indicate that around 2,000 years ago, Malta was significantly larger than it is today.
GRAIN SILOS and Cart Ruts
For many years this bay was regarded as the main bay of the area; in fact in various old Maltese maps, the area of Birżebbuġa was marked as San Giorgio. Today this bay is mainly sought after by local fisherman to moor their boats in its sheltered waters. Of particular note is the old small building found in the inner section of the bay which comprises a room and a small yard which was used for hunting purposes.
St George’s Bay
This megalithic temple dates back to ‘Tarxien’ phase of the Neolithic Period, around 3,150‑2,500 before Christ. It is formed up of four apses, in similarity with contemporary temples like Imnajdra. In contrast however, this temple includes a long boundary wall which encloses a large forecourt. During the Bronze Age (2,500 B.C.‑700 B.C.) the temple was used as a cemetery. It was discovered in the late nineteenth century and excavated for the first time in 1922. Prehistoric-Temple
Borġ in‑Nadur Prehistoric Temple
A chapel dedicated to St George was already present on site since 1575 as it was recorded in Mons. Pietro Dusina’s pastoral visit. In 1716, a semi‑circular redoubt was built in front of the chapel in order to halt enemy landings in St George’s Bay by musket fire. On the flanks of the chapel, musketry loop holes are still visible. In Birżebbuġa once stood another two redoubts, one in Kalafrana and another in Pretty Bay. However, these were demolished in the early twentieth century.
The Chapel and Redoubt of St George
This pictoresque valley is home to several examples of the rare wild pear tree. It also includes a country house known as ‘id‑Dar ta’ Pultu’ since it was built by Baron Ippolito Novantieri in 1664. The house is divided on two levels and comprises a cistern, stables and a large garden. According to legend, in this house lived a Sicilian knight by the name of Ippolito who fell in love with a Maltese girl. The latter’s father however, disapproved this love and subsequently shot and killed the knight Ippolito.
Żembaq Valley and Pultu’s House
This is the oldest oil depot in Malta which was opened by the Shell company in 1914. In 1921 a large pontoon was built in order to allow ships to moor alongside for the disembarkment of oil products. In front of this plant rest the Cold War Memorial which was inaugurated following a summit on the 2nd and 3rd December 1989 between the United States President George H.W. Bush and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and which effectively brought an end to the Cold War.
Shell Plant and Cold War Memorial
Together with Ferretti Battery, the Ghzira Battery is the only fortification of this type which still exists in Birżebbuġa. Built in a semi circular shape in 1716 to defend Pretty Bay against enemy landings, it is also known as Pinto Battery in recognition to the knight who donated 1,000 scudi for its construction. Originally it incorporated a ditch and a redan whilst it also includes a blockhouse at its rear. In 1770 it was armed with six guns although it could hold a complement of eight.
Pretty Bay is one of the few sandy beaches in the South of Malta
Triq il-Bajja s-Sabiha
Mons. Spiridione Penza took the initiative to built this church dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows in 1907. The present facade was built between 1909 and 1910. On 9th September 1913 Bishop Pietro Pace declared this church as a new Parish. It served as a parish church until 1937 when the newly built church dedicated to St Peter was opened. The titular feast used to be celebrated annually on every third Sunday of September.
Triq il-Knisja Birżebbuġa
Our Lady of Sorrows Church
This church’s first stone was solemnly laid by Bishop Mauro Caruana on 29th August 1926. Works on the completion of the church dragged on until 1951. The church is built in a Sicolo‑Norman style and comprises three altars. Inside features the titular statue of St Peter carved in wood by Fedinando Stufflesser in 1959. This is the only parish church in Malta dedicated to St Peter, which feast is celebrated every first Sunday of August.
Parish Church of St Peter in Chains
This church, built in 1865, was designed by Luigi O. Doublet who together with Rev. Antonio Albanese and some other noble summer residents collected the necessary funds for its construction. It served as the first non‑official church of Birżebbuġa until the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows was built. It comprises one altar, enhanced with a series of sculptures. As time went by several modifications were done especially on its facade and today it is used for daily adoration purposes.
Holy Family Chapel
Used for the production of salt, these pans were hewn in the late nineteenth century. Sea water filled the pans and after a period of time the water evaporated allowing the salt to remain in the bottom of the pans for collection.
The Knights of St John constructed several entrenchments, or low lying rampart walls, around the Maltese coast in order to resist enemy invasions. This example at Wied il‑Buni, with a height of 20 feet, was one of the longest as it used to stretch up to Ferretti Battery in Qajjenza. It was built in 1760 under the design of the Balì Francois Jacob de Tignè and incorporated low lying obtuse‑angled bastions. Unfortunately, however, only a small section remains today.
Wied il-buni entrenchment
This fort was built by the British in 1910 and was the last Victorian styled fortification built in the Maltese Islands to defend the coast, in particular the approaches to Marsaxlokk Harbour, against enemy ships which could bombard from afar. Like other Victorian forts it has a pentagonal shape and is surrounded by a ditch comprising several counterscarp galleries. It was armed with two 9.2 inch and two 6 inch guns. It was abandoned during the 1960s.
From 1915 onwards Kalafrana Bay was exploited by the British military forces and included a seaplane base and a torpedo depot. In its vicinity an underground station was subsequently developed to provide sheltered quarters for war purposes. The area was repeatedly bombarded by aerial attacks during the Second World War.
Kalafrana BAY & Underground Station
The first chapel dedicated to the Immaculate Conception in Bengħisa was built in 1822 by Rev. Ġakbu Gauci for the local farmers. It was re-built and extended in 1861 by Rev. Ġuzepp Gauci. It comprises an altar and a nineteenth century titular statue. For a long time Mons. Pietru Pawl Saydon used to celebrate mass in this chapel. Its titular feast is celebrated annually on the 8th of December. Marriages may be celebrated in the church. Priest in charge Dun Ġużepp Berry