History of Ghasri

The word “Ghasri” is a Maltese name which derived from the Semitic language meaning “ghasar” according to A.E. Caruana.  The word could also be related to the olive trees in Gozo as olive oil was produced in Ghasri and the village name was thought to have been derived from the word “ghasar”.  L-Ghasri is also the name of the owner of the land still known today by his name, therefore there are many theories as to where the name “Ghasri” derived from. Ghasri’s village church was built in the early 20th century and is dedicated to Christ the Saviour. Its foundation stone was laid on 6th September 1903 and it was designed by a local priest, Dun Guzepp Diacono. The village was established as a parish by Bishop Giovanni Maria Camilleri on 16th December 1921.

The motto of the coat of arms of Ghasri is “ex labours fructus” and literally means “from work, the fruit” or else – you reap what you sow.  The coat of arms depicts three olive trees growing from fertile land, while in the upper parts there are three figures depicting the machinery used in the pressing of olives.  Baron Lorenzo Zammit Haber (1876-1959) was the man behind both the coat of arms and the motto of Ghasri.

Places of Interest

Gordan Lighthouse

Gordan Lighthouse was built on Gordan Hill to a height of 21 metres.  The lighthouse dominates Ghasri and stands 180 metres above sea level. Construction works started in June 1852 and was then inaugurated on the 15th March 1853.  Sir William Reid, Governor of Malta, inaugurated the lantern which worked with oil.  Its beam can be seen up to 50 kilometres away and marvellous views can be enjoyed from its upper terrace.

The road to the Gordan Lighthouse starts from the village square and leads you through the valley of Wied il-Ghasri.  You can see many typical farmhouses along the way as well as an old charming chapel dedicated to the Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Gordan Lighthouse was instrumental for the defence of the Maltese islands especially during World War II.  The radar installed in the lighthouse could anticipate enemy attacks very early and then give time for the air raid sirens to warn people to take shelter from the forthcoming assault.  In 1962, electrical equipment was installed which had a power of 895,000 candles.  Towards the end of 1994 another system was installed which is still in operation today.  This system works automatically thus needing less maintenance and surveillance.

Wied il-Ghasri

Wied il-Ghasri begins at Dbiegi Hill. It makes its way between Gordan Hill and Iz-Zebbuh and eventually flows into the sea between very high cliffs.  Here lies a very narrow bay which is a haven for those who seek a quiet bathing area.  There is a cave close to the shore in which a shaft was hewn into the rock up to the top of the cliffs.  A mill made up of many pails was used to bring up the sea water to fill the neighbouring salt pans.

Wied Il-Ghasri may be the perfect location for a 5km hike. Going west along the cost of Marsalforn where you will find yourself cliff-bound near Wied Ghasri. Here a staircase cut into the rock leads down to a tiny shingle beach at the head of the inlet. It’s a gorgeously picturesque location with a fantastic swimming and snorkelling when the sea is calm, but it’s best avoided in rough weather when the waves come crashing up the narrow sea valley.

You can also visit by car or walk to Wied il-Għasri from the village of Għasri, which is about 2km south. If you’re coming from Marsalforn, there is a signposted turn-off about 300m after the coast road heads inland, where a rough track drops down to the right and leads to a rocky parking area; it’s accessible in a regular car. Once you park you will need to walk down the long staircase leading you to one of Gozo’s most beautiful views. Wied Il-Ghasri is a must visit when in Gozo.

L-Ghammar Hill

L-Ghammar Hill stands 188 metres above sea level.  There is a life size Way of the Cross with marble statues along it.  Alfred Camilleri Cauchi designed theses statues which were then sculpted in Italy.  The First Station is at the foot on the Ta’ Pinu side and the Last Station is at the top of the hill.  Here you can also find a chapel dedicated to our Lady of Ta’ Pinu.

The Niche of Our Lady of the Annunciation

Situated in the village core, the Niche of Our Lady of the Annunciation lies at the foot of Triq Salvu Gambin corner with Triq il-Knisja.  It dates back to the 5th February, 1773 from the date carved into the back of the stonework.  The carvings and style of the stonework is very typical of the niches in Gozo.  Inside the niche we can see the statues of the Angel Gabriel announcing to the Virgin Mary that she was going to be the Mother of God.  An interesting and unique thing about this niche is that it stands on a balcony supported by three columns.  On the left side of the niche, there is a stairway which leads up to the niche itself.  On the feast of Corpus Christae the procession stops in front of this niche.  Benediction is given from the balcony top.  This is a religious custom which dates back to the 18th century.

Restoration works started on the niche in 2002 as it was in imminent danger of collapse.  The original marble inscription was removed and is currently being kept at the local Parish Church to preserve it from further deterioration.  The niche was restored once again in 2018.

Il-Maxrabija Windows

There are three very unique windows on the island of Gozo.  Two of them are found in Ghasri. Maxrabija is “a kind of window (in Arab style) from which one can look but cannot be seen.

overview

Real Estate In Ghasri

Ghasri is a beautiful little village deep in the Gozitan countryside.  Upon the hill stands Ta’ Gordan Lighthouse.  From the typical Gozitan square a road leads to the fabulous valley of Wied il-Ghasri.

Farmhouses & Houses in Ghasri

On the way, there are a number of typical farmhouses which form part of the real estate properties to be found in Ghasri.  There are also houses of character and terraced houses in the village square as well as modern apartments on the outskirts of the village. These can all be made into wonderful homes and if one wishes can also be modernised with swimming pools and air conditions and yet retain the authentic Gozitan features to be found inside the property.

Coordinates
36.0659227,14.2062019
Area
5.00 km (sqr)
Population
424
Patron Saint
Corpus Christi