Żebbuġ, Gozo

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Parish church and square of Żebbuġ
Parish church and square of Żebbuġ
Flag of Żebbuġ
Coat of arms of Żebbuġ
Coat of arms
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
DistrictGozo and Comino District
Establishedc. 13th century
BordersGħasri, Victoria, Xagħra
 • MayorNicky Saliba (PN)
 • Total7.6 km2 (2.9 sq mi)
 (March 2014)
 • Total2,956
 • Density390/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Żebbuġi t'Għawdex (m), Żebbuġija t'Għawdex (f), Żebbuġin t'Għawdex (pl)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code356
ISO 3166 codeMT-65
Patron saintAssumption of Mary
Day of festaSunday after 15 August
WebsiteOfficial website

Żebbuġ (Maltese: Iż-Żebbuġ) is a small village overlooking the northwest coast of the island of Gozo in Malta. It is located close to Għarb and Għasri and is built on two hilltop plateaus, Ta' Abram and Ix-Xagħra taż-Żebbuġ. The fishing port and tourist resort of Marsalforn lies within the Żebbuġ Council. The village has a population of 2,956 (as of March 2014), which makes it the fifth largest in Gozo, after Xewkija.[2]

With an area of 7.6 km2, Żebbuġ is the largest local council in Gozo by land area. The word Żebbuġ means "olive trees", 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 Ta' Kuljat hill,[4] and even older remains can be found to the north, close to Qbajjar Bay. 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 the 13th century, and eventually 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 Davide 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, deposits of calcite travertine[8] (referred to locally as alabaster,[9] or, though it is related to neither,[10] as 'onyx marble' on account of its banded appearance when cut) were discovered in a field known as Taċ-Ċaqra or Is-Sagħtrija.[11] The travertine was used to decorate the interior of the parish church of Żebbuġ,[12] as well as in some other churches in Gozo and Malta.[1]

Places of interest[edit]

Żebbuġ main roads[edit]

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

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Żebbuġ is twinned with:[13]


  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. ^ Said, George (December 2011). "Geological and Geomorphological Aspects of the Żebbuġ and Marsalforn Region" (PDF). Gozo Observer (N. 25).
  9. ^ "The art and craft of marble - The Malta Independent". www.independent.com.mt. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Mineralienatlas Lexikon - Malta / Gozo / Zebbug (english Version)". www.mineralienatlas.de. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  11. ^ Attard, Geoffrey (1 September 2013). "How the Żebbuġ church came to gain its onyx". Times of Malta. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  12. ^ Scerri, John. "Zebbug". Malta-Canada.com. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Twinning". localgovernment.gov.mt. Government of Malta. Retrieved 18 September 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Vella, Horatio Caesar Roger (2018). Żebbuġ of Gozo: Its People, Inscriptions and History. Gozo: Żebbuġ Local Council. ISBN 978-99957-1-417-8.

External links[edit]