L-Imġarr is likely to be the most remote village in Malta. Far from any other location, it has retained its distinct character and serenity. The coastline extends from Fomm ir-Riħ to Għajn Tuffieħa Bay, and between them we find the picturesque bay of Ġnejna. Proteced beaches like Ġnejna and Għajn Tuffieħa, over the centuries served as a refuge for pirates and because of this, many towers were built on the cliffs around Malta, two of which in Imġarr.
Imġarr became a parish in 1893, when the population was that of c.a. 700. Before that the village made part of Mosta parish since 1610. The first parish priest was Mons. Ġlormu Chetchuti who started the work to create one of the most impressive churches on the island. The contributions to build the church included 5,700 birds, 920 pigs, 620 rabbits, 600 lambs and goats, 13 calves and 360,000 eggs. The church itself has the shape of an egg and the not so perfect oval design was so unusual that no architect had the courage to design it before Ġammari Camilleri known as ‘is-Saqqafi’ and Ġanni A. Cilia, the headmaster who volunteered to do the work, proved to be a masterpiece.
The villagers are totally devoted to their patron- The Holy Virgin. The M for Mary dominates the village’s coat of arms, designed by the much loved Salomone who served as a chaplain from 1931 to 1954. The village feast is celebrated on the first Sunday after the 15th of August. Carrying the statue during the procession is such an honour that bearers pledge offerings, which then are distributed to charity and for the upkeep of the church.
Imġarr has some of the oldest places of worship. Skorba Temples, consisting of two distinct temples, are so old that they entered the Guinness Book of Records as one of the two oldest free-standing structures in the world. The west temple dated 3500 BC is about 60ft2. Built in the form of a three-foil leaf with three apsidal chamber and a courtyard in the middle. Some walls have a thickness of 4 ft. The eastern temple is neither so old nor preserved so well. Another important set of megalithic structures is Ħaġrat Temples. It consists of two temples and the basic shape is like that of Skorba Temples.
Not quite as old, we find the Roman Thermal Baths near Għajn Tuffieħa. These baths were part of a roman villa that included statues and amphorae. Powerful members of the Roman families have been using this villa as a resting place on their way to the colonies on the North African coast.
The Southern boundary of Imġarr is formed by the Great Ridge and Victoria Lines (fortified walls of the 19th century). The Victoria Lines were completed in 1897, the year of Queen’s Victoria Diamond Jubilee. This is marked with towers, batteries, cannons and fortresses.
Municipal offices are located opposite the parish church, where on the 1st February 1994 the first local council was elected. The Council is composed by the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and three councilors. Every person passing by this small village will be surely greeted with a smile. The council is working hard to maintain the integrity, serenity and character of the village which fits its motto ‘Żghir b’Qalb Kbira’ which means ‘Small with a Big Heart’.
Your Local Councillors
Executive Secretary – Cyprian Dalli