View of Xemxija with the parish church
|Local council||St. Paul's Bay|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Xemxija (Maltese: Ix-Xemxija, pronounced shem-shee-ya) is a suburb on the western part of St. Paul's Bay in the Northern Region, Malta. It is a quiet resort, surrounded by Maltese countryside and some of the most fertile valleys in Malta. There is also a picturesque small fishing harbour. The resort is the gateway to the sandy beaches of Golden Bay and to Mellieħa Bay. There are a number of hotels and restaurants in Xemxija.
The area around Xemxija has been inhabited since prehistoric times. It contains a number of archaeological sites, which now form a heritage trail. These include a number of rock-hewn tombs, remains of two megalithic temples, a Bronze Age grain silo, trogloditic dwellings, cart ruts, a Roman road, and Roman apiaries.
In around 1715, the Order of St. John built Arrias Battery as part of a series of fortifications defending Malta's coastline. It was also called Xemxija Battery since it was on the sunny side of the bay (xemxija means "sunny" in Maltese), and the area around it became known as Xemxija. Today, the battery is a restaurant.
In 1839, the British built an aqueduct allowing the transportation of water. The water travelled from an underground aqueduct in an area in Wardija, known as tal-Ballut, that extends to an above ground aqueduct and then to a reservoir both in Xemxija. The conservation of water was needed for the British military and their horses, who surveilled the area from the nearby defence posts.
An underground emergency flour mill was built in Xemxija during the Cold War. It has been restored to working condition by the Fondazzjoni Wirt Industrijali Malti (Maltese Industrial Heritage Foundation), and is now open to the public.
- Saviour Formosa; Sandra Scicluna; Jacqueline Azzopardi, eds. (January 2013). Realities of Crime, Society and Landuse in the Mediterranean: JANUS I (PDF). Msida: Department of Criminology, University of Malta. p. 97. doi:10.13140/2.1.1230.4322. ISBN 978-99957-834-0-2. Archived from the original on 15 March 2017.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
- "Xemxija prehistoric tombs" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "Xemxija Temple (1) - Ancient Temple in Malta in Mainland". The Megalithic Portal. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "Xemxija Temple (2) - Ancient Temple in Malta in Mainland". The Megalithic Portal. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "Xemxija Silo - Ancient Mine, Quarry or other Industry in Malta in Mainland". The Megalithic Portal. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "Xemxija Heritage Trail". howtomalta.com. 30 April 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "Arrias Battery" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "Het Wignacourt-aquaduct". Malta Pagina (in Dutch). Netherlands. 2005–2012. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
- "History Repeats itself: aqueduct damaged in mysterious accident". The Malta Independent. 26 August 2007. Archived from the original on 16 February 2017.
- "Underground Flour Mills". maltaheritage.blogspot.com. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "San Pawl il-Baħar: Home". Local Councils. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
- Majjistral Sustainable Development Strategy: Rural Development Programme for Malta 2007-2013 (PDF). Leader Programme (Report). 14 December 2009. p. 44. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 April 2016.
- Dillon, Paddy (2016). Walking on Malta. Cicerone Press Limited. p. 109. ISBN 9781783622917.
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