View of Kerċem
|District||Gozo and Comino District|
|Borders||Fontana, Għarb, Għasri, Munxar, San Lawrenz, Victoria|
|• Mayor||Mario Azzopardi (PN)|
|• Total||5.5 km2 (2.1 sq mi)|
|Population (March 2014)|
|• Density||350/km2 (910/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Kerċmi (m), Kerċmija (f), Kerċmin (pl)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|ISO 3166 code||MT-22|
|Patron saints||St. Gregory
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
The village of Kerċem lies close by to the south-west of Victoria, spread between the picturesque Lunzjata Valley, the green hills of Tal-Mixta, Għar Ilma and Ta' Dbieġi, and stretching up to the Pond of Għadira ta' San Rafflu and Xlendi cliffs.
Archaeological discoveries show that the sizeable area of Kerċem was inhabited as early as the Għar Dalam phase (5000–4500 BC). The Roman Baths and an early Christian cemetery at Għar Gerduf, referred to by Gozitan historian Giovanni Pietro Francesco Agius de Soldanis as Roman Catacombs, are also significant discoveries. However, to date, these historic sites are not accessible to the public.
Ta' Kerċem evolved into a village community in the late Middle Ages, around an ancient chapel dedicated to Pope Gregory the Great built around 1581. The site gained historical importance due to the annual traditional St. Gregory procession from the Matrix church in Rabat (Victoria) to this medieval chapel, upon the saint's feast, namely on 12 March. The chapel was, however, replaced by the present parish church in 1851, which in turn was enlarged later on to its present state between 1906 and 1910. Ta' Kercem became a distinct parish on 10 March 1885 by Bishop Pietru Pace. The Ta' Kercem parish church is the only Gozitan church which is jointly dedicated to two saints. As referred earlier, it was traditionally dedicated to Pope St. Gregory, but, since 17 August 1885, the church was additionally co-dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
The village of Ta' Kerċem has a population of around 1700 people. Cultural activities include the annual Għadira Fair, which is a popular traditional family fair in the countryside area of San Rafflu. The hamlet of Santa Luċija, Gozo, although in itself incorporated within Ta' Kerċem, is quite distinct with its rustic church square. Santa Luċija is inhabited by country folk with a few old houses built around an old chapel dedicated to St. Lucy.
Zones in Kerċem
- Fuq il-Blat
- Għajn Abdul
- Għar Ilma
- Ta' Berrini
- Ta' Ċajplu
- Ta' Ġanton
- Ta' Katas
- Ta' Majru
- Ta' Summina
- Ta' Xkura
- Wied il-Ġifna
- Wied tal-Grixti
- "Estimated Population by Locality 31st March, 2014". Government of Malta. 16 May 2014. Archived from the original on 21 June 2015.
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