Żebbuġ, Gozo

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This article is about the village on the island of Gozo. For the city on the island of Malta, see Żebbuġ.
Local council
Parish church and square of Żebbuġ
Parish church and square of Żebbuġ
Flag of Żebbuġ
Coat of arms of Żebbuġ
Coat of arms
Motto: Terra Sublimis
(A lofty region)[1]
Zebbug in Malta (Gozo).svg
Coordinates: 36°04′15″N 14°14′13″E / 36.07083°N 14.23694°E / 36.07083; 14.23694Coordinates: 36°04′15″N 14°14′13″E / 36.07083°N 14.23694°E / 36.07083; 14.23694
Country  Malta
Region Gozo Region
District Gozo and Comino District
Established c. 1282
Borders Għasri, Victoria, Xagħra
 • Mayor Nicky Saliba (PN)
 • Total 7.6 km2 (2.9 sq mi)
Population (March 2014)
 • Total 2,956
 • Density 390/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Żebbuġi t'Għawdex (m), Żebbuġija t'Għawdex (f), Żebbuġin t'Għawdex (pl)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code ZBB
Dialing code 356
ISO 3166 code MT-65
Patron saint Assumption of Mary
Day of festa Sunday after 15 August
Website Official website

Żebbuġ (Maltese: Iż-Żebbuġ) is a small village in the northwestern part of the island of Gozo in Malta. It is located on a hilltop overlooking the coast, and is close to Għarb and Għasri. The tourist resort of Marsalforn is located within the limits of Żebbuġ. As of March 2014, the village had a population of 2956.[2]

With an area of 7.6 km2, Żebbuġ is the largest local council in Gozo, although its population is small. The word Żebbuġ means "olives", a crop for which the village used to be noted, although nowadays very few olive trees remain on the slopes of Żebbuġ. The village is also well known for its fine lacework[3] and for its nearby coastal beauty spots.[1]


The areas around Żebbuġ have been inhabited for millennia. There are Bronze Age remains on Kuljat hill,[4] and even older remains can be found to the north, close to the bay of Qbajjar. Punic tombs were also found at Qbajjar.

Over the following centuries, the area was then inhabited only by a few farmers. A community began to take shape in around 1282, and a small chapel was built.[5]

In 1643, plans were made to build a fortified city in Marsalforn, to serve as Gozo's capital instead of the ancient Cittadella, but the project was eventually abandoned due to a lack of funds.[6]

The parish of Żebbuġ, which is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary (Maltese: Santa Marija), was established on 28 April 1688 by bishop Cocco Palmieri. The village's parish church is the oldest one in Gozo, apart from St George's basilica (1678) and the cathedral (1714) in Victoria.[7]

From 1715 onwards, a chain of fortifications were built along the Żebbuġ coastline, especially at Marsalforn. Most of these have been destroyed over the years, with the only surviving vestige being Qolla l-Bajda Battery between Qbajjar and Xwejni Bays.[6]

In 1738, a large deposit of onyx was discovered in a field known as Taċ-Ċaqra or Is-Sagħtrija.[8] The onyx was used in the decoration of the parish church of Żebbuġ, as well as in some other churches in Gozo and Malta.[1]

Places of interest[edit]

  • Parish Church of the Assumption of Mary – Originally built as a chapel in 1644, replaced by a church built between 1690 and 1726. It was further enlarged between 1938 and 1942. The interior of the church is decorated with local onyx.[9]
  • Qolla l-Bajda Battery – a coastal battery built in around 1716. It is one of two surviving examples on Gozo.

Żebbuġ main roads[edit]

  • Triq Għajn Mhelhel (Għajn Mhelhel Street)
  • Triq il-Knisja (Church Street)
  • Triq il-Ponta (Point Street)
  • Triq iż-Żebbuġ (Żebbuġ Street)


  1. ^ a b c "Zebbug". Discover Gozo. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "Estimated Population by Locality 31st March, 2014". Government of Malta. 16 May 2014. Archived from the original on 21 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Żebbuġ". Gozo Diocese. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Ta' Kuljat - Ancient Village or Settlement in Malta in Gozo". The Megalithic Portal. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "Iz-Zebbug Culture & History". Żebbuġ Local Council. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Bezzina, Joseph. "Marsalforn Culture & History". Żebbuġ Local Council. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Iż-Żebbuġ". Visit Gozo. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  8. ^ Attard, Geoffrey (1 September 2013). "How the Żebbuġ church came to gain its onyx". Times of Malta. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  9. ^ Scerri, John. "Zebbug". Malta-Canada.com. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 

External links[edit]