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Gozo - Xewkija


Xewkija, situated between Ghajnsielem and Victoria, is the oldest village in Gozo with a population of 3,115 people. The name is derived from the Maltese word "Xewk", meaning "thistles" or "thorns".

Xewkija is famous for its church The Rotunda, which is dedicated to St. John The Baptist. The Rotunda is the largest church in Gozo and was built from Maltese stone by local masons and craftsmen. The village feast is held annually on the last Sunday of June.

Excavations held in the area of the parish church confirmed that the area was inhabited since Neolithic times from findings such as fragments of pottery and animal bones. There was very little depth of soil and that little had been constantly disturbed by cultivation. A footed bowl from the Temple period with deeply incised designs executed after firing was found and is on display at the Gozo Museum of Archaeology in the Citadel. Other findings include a marble slab of Majmuna with an Arabic inscription dating back to 1173, which commemorates the death of an Arabic girl named Sarah, who died in the town. Xewkija had also two towers mainly Tinghi Tower which disappeared in the last century and the Tower of Gorgion which was used by the Grandmasters as a summer residence and which was demolished during the Second World War.

On the suburbs of the village once can find the Gozo branch of the University of Malta, the Gozo Stadium, the Government Farm and an Industrial Estate which employs hundreds of Gozitan workers. When entering the village one can still see remains of a mill which is unique in Gozo as it has 8 points which show the eight principal wind directions.

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