Heritage Malta is opening for free Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra Temples, two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, on 10th February, a public holiday.
During the open day two guided tours will be held at 11.00hrs and 14.00hrs. Apart from viewing the temples and their environs, visitors will also have the opportunity to visit the adjacent interactive visitor centre and the respective 4D presentation.
Ħaġar Qim Temples were built between 3600-3200BC and the site consists of a central building and the remains of at least two more structures. The building is made up of a series of C-shaped rooms, known as apses while along the external wall one may find some of the largest megaliths used in the building of these structures, such as a 5.2m high stone and a huge megalith estimated to weigh close to 20 tonnes. A number of artefacts were unearthed at the site notably stone and clay statuettes of obese figures which are on display at the National Museum of Archaeology. One of the prehistoric chambers holds an elliptical hole which is hewn out in alignment with the Summer Solstice sunrise.
Mnajdra Temples lies 500m away from Ħaġar Qim Temples at the bottom of the hill. This complex consists of three buildings facing a common oval forecourt.The first and oldest structure was built between 3600-3200BC followed by the South Temple constructed between 3150-2500BC and the Central Temple constructed between the other two. Remains to the north-east and south-east of these buildings indicate that these three structures are only the best preserved of a larger complex. The South Temple is aligned in a manner that it marks the position of sunrise on the first day of each season.