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3) Valletta, Malta - "European Capital of Culture - 2018": A 10 Euro Silver Coin and a Silver Foil replica of a 26c Stamp brought out by Central Bank of Malta
The Hagar Qim Temples Complex:
The Hagar Qim Temples (in Maltese meaning "Standing Worshipping Stones") are a megalithic temple complex dating from the Ggantija phase (3,600 - 3,200 BC).
The Hagar Qim Temples are one of the seven Megalithic Temples of Malta, which are among the most ancient religious sites on Earth and are unique architectural master-pieces.
The façade of Hagar Qim showing the entrance and the largest stone used in Maltese Megalithic architecture weighing 57 tons and the "menhir" stands upright at 5.2 metres or 17.0 feet
The Hagar Qim megalithic complex is located on the Southern edge of the island of Malta on a ridge capped in soft globigerina limestone which is the second oldest rock on Malta. The Hagar Qim builders used this limestone in the temple's construction/architecture. As a result, the temple has suffered from severe weathering and surface flaking over the millennia.
Hagar Qim Temple Complex stands on a hill-top overlooking the sea and the Islet of Fifla. Excavations at the Temple Complex have yielded several important artefacts including a decorated pillar altar, a pair of table altars (mushroom shaped altars) and numerous statues of seated and standing figures, whch are now on display at the National Museum of archaeology at Valetta.
The Temple Complex has consists of a main temple and three additional megalithic structures besides it. It was built in three phases - beginning with the "Old Temple" Northern Apses, followed by the "New Temple" and finally the completion of the entire structure.
Hagar Qim shares its basic architectural design with Ggantija, Mnajdra and Tarxien Temple Complexes. The basic shape includes a forecourt and facade, elongated oval chambers, semi-circular recesses and a central passage connecting the chambers. This configuration is called a "trefoil". The shape of the temple mimics the sacred sculptures found within the Temple Complex.
Other man-made structures and natural amenities at the Complex include - dwelling houses, a bastion to protect the complex from wild animals, women's chambers, a niche formed of heavy slabs, a cell containing an altar constructed out of a single block of stone and deeply discoloured by the use of fire etc.
A "Misqa" (or the "watering place") is built on a flat area on a bare rock atop a hill near the temple complex. It contains seven bell-shaped reservoirs that still retain water and are joined as a single tank through subterranean channels.
The Temple's façade is characterised by a trilithon entrance outer bench and orthostats. It has a wide forecourt with a restraining wall and a passage runs through the middle of the building constructed in a modified Maltese megalithic design. A separate entrance gives access to four independent enclosures which replace the North-westerly apse.
The Southern wall of Hagar Qim Temple Complex
The Hagar Qim façade contains the largest stone used in Maltese megalithic architecture, which weighs 57 tons. The upright menhir stands at 5.2 metres (or 17.0 feet) high.
Features of temple architecture reveal possible association with fertility rituals including corpulent figurines and statuary. together with solar alignments and a megalith. The presence of an altar with a concave top was used for animal sacrifices, which is clear from the bones of several sacrificed animals found near the altar.
Adds the UNESCO book titled "Treasures of the World" in my personal library: