is a village on Gozo Island, Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...
. The population of Xewkija is 3,115 (Nov 2005), that is the fourth largest in Gozo
Gozo is a small island of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. The island is part of the Southern European country of Malta; after the island of Malta itself, it is the second-largest island in the archipelago...
, after Victoria (6,414), Nadur
-History:The word "Nadur" which in Maltese means "lookout", is derived from the Arabic word nadara. The town's motto means much the same. Ajwa....
(4,181) and Xagħra (3,960).
Xewkija, which is situated between Għajnsielem and the capital town, Victoria, is the oldest village in Gozo. It became the first parish outside Victoria on 27 November 1678. It was separated from the Matrix by Bishop Glormu Molina and Dun Grezz Farrugia from Valletta, became its first parish priest. It became the first district 'contrada' to be known as 'casale' or village.
The name is derived from the Maltese word "", meaning "thistles" or "thorns". Xewkija is famous for its church, The Rotunda, which is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It is the Seat of the Knights of the Order of St. John, and was built from Maltese stone by local masons and craftsmen. It is the largest in Gozo and its dome dominates the village. Its architect was Joseph D'Amato. It replaced an older church.
On the site where the present church is, it was said that there was a stone known as 'Maqghad ix-Xih'. Near it there is a small ancient chapel known as Madonna tal-Hniena (Our Lady of Charity) which was dedicated to San Bartilimew. The tower of Santa Cecilja had been in the limits of Xewkija. There is another tower with the oldest sundial in Xewkija. Remains of Tinghi Tower disappeared in the last century. These towers date back to 1613. A 14th century tower used by the Grandmasters as a summer residence, the Tower of Gorgion, was demolished during the Second World War to make way for a temporary airport.
A marble slab of Majmuna with an Arabic inscription dating back to 1173 was found in Xewkija. It commemorates the death of an Arab girl named Sarah, who died in Xewkija. The inscription is carved in a thick marble slab, on the underside of which there is a pagan symbol. Brother Gabrijel D'Alappo translated it into Italian and it was later translated into Maltese. It was sent to the Public Library in Malta in 1845 and brought to the Gozo National Museum in 1960.
The Banda Prekursur (Precursor Band) is the oldest organization in Xewkija. It was set up on 13 May 1929. Lorenzo Zammit Haber, Marcell Mercieca, Giuseppe Buttigieg, Giovanni Haber and Tomaso Attard were among its founders. Mr. Lorenzo Zammit Haber was first President and Secretary.
The coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...
of Xewkija is a shield on a gold background with a red horizontal strip between two thorns, one above and one below.
A helicopter service once ran between Malta International Airport
Malta International Airport is the only airport in Malta and it serves the whole Maltese Archipelago. It is located between Luqa and Gudja. It occupies the location of the former RAF Luqa and was completely re-furbished, becoming fully operational on 25 March 1992...
On the suburbs of the village there are the University of Malta
The University of Malta is the highest educational institution in Malta Europe and is one of the most respected universities in Europe. The University offers undergraduate Bachelor's Degrees, postgraduate Master's Degrees and postgraduate Doctorates .-History:The University of Malta was founded in...
(Gozo Section) and the offices of the Employment & Training Corporation. There are also the Gozo Stadium
The Gozo Stadium, formerly known as the Silver Jubilee Ground, is the national stadium of the island of Gozo, Malta. The Gozo Stadium stages matches of the highest division in Gozo, part of the Second Division League and the matches of the Gozo F.C. It approximately holds 4,000 people. It is...
, the Government Farm, St. Mary's Cemetery and Xewkija Cemetery. There is also an industrial estate which employs hundreds of Gozitan workers.
The rising population in Xewkija needed more building sites for houses and housing estates have been developed at Tal-Barmil, Ta' Gokk and Tal-Hamrija.
When one enters the village from the main road one sees the remains of a mill erected in the times of Grand Master Perellos. This is unique mill in Gozo because it has points which show the eight principal wind directions.
At Misrah Imbert one can see the cart ruts
Misrah Ghar il-Kbir is a prehistoric site in Malta near the Dingli Cliffs. It is best known for its "cart ruts" - a complex network of tracks gouged in the rock. The age and purpose of the tracks are still a mystery of Maltese history...
, coming from Borg Gharib, Mgarr ix-Xini, Ta' Cenc and Tas-Salvatur.
Xewkija main roads
- Triq iċ-Ċanga
- Triq il-Kbira (Main Street)
- Triq il-Mitħna (Mill Road)
- Triq l-Imġarr (Mgarr Road)
- Triq l-Indipendenza (Independence Street)
- Triq San Bert (St Bartholmeo Street)
- Triq Santa Marija (St Mary Street)
- Triq Ħamrija (Soil Street)
- Triq Ta' Sannat (Sannat Road)
- Vjal il-Labour (Labour Avenue)