Hagar Qim, Malta


The huge Hagar Qim Temple is situated on a bluff overlooking the smaller Mnaijdra Temple.  It has a beautiful view of the sea, looking out directly toward the tiny island of Filfla. Filfla was long held to be sacred by the Maltese, having the shape of a bird in flight when viewed from land.  Hagar Qim was built around 3300 - 3000 BCE.  It features megalithic (huge stone) construction.  The stones were shaped and aligned with great care, and at the equinox, sunlight shines directly on the main altar.  The feeling of the temple is that it was for large public events.  The temple has the traditional design of the Maltese temples, being built in the shape (when viewed from above) of the full-bodied Goddess. 

The stone masonry is astonishingly precise and indicates a solid knowledge of geometry on the part of the builders, so long ago.  These beautiful temple buildings are the earliest free-standing architecture the world has known.

There are also stones here which show male symbolism, such as a recognizable "phallus stone".

The temple has so-called "oracle holes" which are circular holes in the wall.  These are conjectured to be places from which people spoke to the audience without being seen.