Rabat Malta Village
Rabat is a picturesque village located in the West of the island of Malta, next to the old capital city of Malta, Mdina. The name of the village is derived from the Semitic word ‘suburb’ as once Rabat was the suburb of Mdina. According to research, part of this village formed part of the ancient city in the past years.
For number of centuries, whilst Rabat and the surrounding areas served as a shelter from the constant pirate assaults, several religious orders including Franciscans, Dominicans and Augustinians have established themselves within the village confines. The mentioned religious orders are still flourishing here in their sizeable friaries and monasteries, catering for the religious needs of the village parishioners in their churches.
The village of Rabat houses number of churches, sanctuaries and chapels. The Parish church is dedicated to St. Paul. The feast of St. Paul is celebrated each year around the first week of July. Besides the feast of St. Paul, the local community of Rabat celebrates other village feasts throughout the year most notably the feasts of St. Joseph and Corpus Christi respectively.
The quiet village of Sannat or more precisely Ta’ Sannat is located to the south of the island of Gozo. It is reached either from Victoria or directly from Mgarr Harbour via Xewkija. According to research, the name of this village was derived from an Arabic-Greek family that moved to Gozo from Sicily.
Sannat was one of the first villages on the island of Gozo to become an independent parish in 1688. The church was consecrated in 1755 and was again consecrated in 1868 after major structural changes. One shall note that this Church hosts a final altarpiece by Stefano Erardi. The church is dedicated to St. Margaret the Martyr and stands majestically in the heart of the village. The village festa is celebrated each year around the third week of July.
The village of Sannat is also prominent for the stunning Ta’ Cenc cliffs which house numerous wildlife species, the mysterious ancient cart ruts, rich fauna and flora. Ta’ Cenc cliffs are the highest cliffs in the island of Gozo.
Xewkija is a town in Gozo, situated mid-way between the Mgarr Harbour and Victoria. It is the oldest village in Gozo, established as a parish on the 27th of November, 1678. The word Xewkija means thorny, suggesting that there were immense areas full of thorns in the past. The coat of arms of Xewkija is a shield on a gold background with a red horizontal strip between two thorns, one above and one below. The motto of Xewkija is ‘Nemo me impune lacessit’, that is, ‘No one shall attack me with impunity’. Xewkija has a population of around 3,600 people and occupies an area of 4km2.
The town is famous for its Rotunda church dedicated to St. John The Baptist whose dome dominates the village. On entering the village from the main road, you can see the remains of a mill built during the times of Grand Master Perellos. This mill is unique in Gozo because it has eight points that show the wind directions.
The village of Nadur is a true traditional Gozitan village located on a high hill to the east of the island of Gozo. There are interesting things to see in this traditional village including high belvedere vantage points providing some of the best vistas over land and sea. From these points the island and comino and malta can clearly bee see.
The village can be reached directly from the harbour of Mġarr or from ir-Rabat .There are two village squares in Nadur. One in front of the church and the other is found behind the church. You will find various eateries in both squares ranging from snack bars, the local football club, up to very good quality dining. There are also other shops in the area which include the village grocery store, a confectionary a modern pharmacy, and a stationary.
This church stands imposingly in the sizeable central village square opposite which is an old stone cross and is dedicated to Saint Paul and Saint Peter. The feast of Saints Paul and Peter is a national holiday and is celebrated on the 29th of June. Locally this is referred to as “L-Imnarja”. The feast is connected with the start of summer. In fact the name derives from luminaria (illumination). Another attraction in this village is its own Maritime Museum. This museum is a treasure-trove of naval memorabilia extending from the time of the Knights, through the British era up to the twentieth century. Attractive green valleys surround the village of Nadur which is also known for the peaceful bays located nearby.