Secrets of Gozo



Historical places in Xlendi

Punic Tombs

The Punic Tombs  in Xlendi date back to the  Punic-Byzantine times , the artifacts  where found at St. Simon Point (under St. Simon Street) and more were found in the Xlendi Valley. Romans used to use Xlendi as a port as its south facing geographical position provide protection from strong north winds.

The Cliffs that surround the bay are perfect refuge for all sea vessels when northern or western winds hit the island. In the middle of the bay stands a reef which has caused plenty of shipwrecks dating back hundreds of years. These sunken ships left a large number of Roman vessels on the seabed at the entrance of the bay.

Xlendi Tower

The Xlendi Tower guarding the mouth of the bay was built by the Grandmaster Juan de Lascaris-Castellar on 29 June 1650. This was built so pirates or Turks could not launch attacks from this bay. This tower is still standing. It has, until recently, been abandoned with substantial damage caused to the outer walls of the tower. Responsibility for the tower was passed to the Local Council and Din l-Art Ħelwa in 2010. It is anticipated that restoration work will be commenced during 2011. The Tower was quite important for the British Army in Malta as it was the only tower in the southwest of the island. It was entitled Tower B (secondly in place) to show its importance.

Chapels in Xlendi

A cross carved in the rock marking the ruins of a cemetery
It is strange that Xlendi in the middle 17th century had a total of 4 chapels. These were: St Simon Chapel (St Simon Point) which also had a cemetery and when profaned, the bishop ordered that a stone cross should be carved in the rocks; St Domenica which was an underground chapel located roughly on the cliffs over the valley of Xlendi on the side of Munxar and was difficult to reach, so it was profaned soon after it was established; St Catherine was established over Xlendi on the cliffs on the side of the village of Kercem. It was built over a cliff which bears the same name. It is said that there was a small community in the area of this chapel; ‘Vizitazzjoni ta’ Forn il-Gir’ was not much visited by people. It was established between Munxar and Xlendi but very little is known about it. All of these chapels were profaned between the 1650s and the 1680s.

The church, dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, was dedicated in 1974, but some parts of the building are far older, dating to 1868. Every year, on the first Sunday of September, a feast dedicated to the patron saint is held. In the Afternoon, water games are held at the bay with the traditional ‘gostra’, a greasy pole which the players have to walk on to catch a flag. In the evening a procession with the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is held around Xlendi.[4]

Underground Emergency Mill

In 1955, the Xlendi mill was excavated into the cliffs, located behind the range church. The excavation was a large endeavor, that consisted foremost of Associate in Nursing entrance tunnel, some thirty meters long, 2.5 meters high and three meters wide, leading into an outer chamber. This chamber was divided into 3 floors and housed the storage, grinding and edge instrumentation. At the rear of the mill is that the silo, having a storage capability of roughly one,000 plenty of wheat, and connected to the edge machinery by mechanical augers. Associate in Nursing eighty horsepower diesel and generator equipped power. Entrances from on top of may also access the silo. The Mill was engineered once the conflict was escalating once nuclear conflict was doable. This Mill was nuclear safe. however this mill was ne’er used once being engineered.