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Gozo - San Lawrenz

San Lawrenz has a population of 566 people and is built on a plain surrounded by three hills known as Għammar, Gelmus and Ta' Dbieġi, with the latter hill rising some 195 meters above sea level.

Until San Lawrenz was declared a parish in 1893, it formed part of the neighbourhood of Għarb. However as time went by the people of San Lawrenz started to form a separate community and as a result they wanted their own church. The village feast of St. Lawrence is celebrated annually on the last Sunday of July.

In the limits of San Lawrenz there is also the splendid bay of Dwejra which is famous for the Fungus Rock, the inland sea and Azure Window. There is also an old Tower dating back to the Knights of St John. The name of this bay, Dwejra Bay, is derived from a small house, which was built on the cliffs surrounding the inland sea. The bay has rare geological features both on land and under the sea, rich and diverse wildlife and habitats, dramatic seascapes dominated by a rocky shoreline and a general sense of wilderness. Due to its renowned geology and fascinating underwater scenery, Dwejra has often been chosen as a filming site for internationally renowned and famous films including The Count of Monte Christo, Clash of the Titans and Game of Thrones.

The Azure Window is a natural arch featuring a table-like rock over the sea formed by two almost perpendicular vertical rocks and a huge horizontal mass over them.

The Inland Sea is an expanse of shallow water set in a deep recess in the rock coastline produced by the caving in of the surface above subterranean caves. This is connected to the outside sea by means of a narrow cave. The entrance for this pebbly lake is called Ghar iz-Zerqa (Blue Cave) because of the colour of the sea within and around it.

The historic and scientific importance given to Dwejra Bay is mainly due to a 65 metre high megalithic rock named Hagret il-General or Fungus Rock. The name is derived from a commander of a squadron of galleys belonging to the Order of St. John, who discovered a plant that is locally known as Gherq is-Sinjur. It is believed that the Medieval Knights used to grow medicinal plants upon it. This rock was declared a nature reserve and thus it is prohibited to climb upon it without due permission, which is granted only for educational and scientific purposes. With small fishing boats one can travel out to the sea through the Inland Sea and visit Fungus Rock.
The pair of cart ruts in the Dwejra area climb all the way up from behind the chapel dedicated to Saint Anne to the towering cliffs north of the Inland Sea. These cart-ruts are one of the most enigmatic archaeological features due to an unexplainable two metres drop and to the fact that they start and terminate in a mysterious way

The picturesque village of San Lawrenz has succeeded in retaining its traditional and rural lifestyle. It has managed to open up to progress without sacrificing its natural beauty and those values and traditions, which form the identity of this charming village.

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