History of Zurrieq

Zurrieq was inhabited since the bronze age by a relatively large population. Ancestory is attributed from the Phoenicians and Carthaginians to the Greeks and Romans. A road, which is thought to date prior to Roman times, seems to pass through the village of Zurrieq, connecting it with North and South. Over time there is a strong indication that Zurrieq was a centre of commercial activity in this part of the island and offers many interesting sites. Archaeological finds, include tombs containing human skeletons and pottery, were found in the area. The first historical reference to this village goes back to 1399. The towns of Ħal Lew, Ħal Millieri, Ħal Manin, Il-Bubaqra, Ħal Far, Nigret and Qrendi used to make part of the village itself until in 1618 the town of Qrendi became a village of its own right while the others dissolved naturally with their area now making an integral part of the village perimeter.

The Semitic roots indicate the word zoroq would mean blue, but it is not clear to what they refer. One may recall the old motto in Latin saying: I took my name from the blue sea.

What to see and do in Zurrieq?

The town of Zurrieq is the location where one can find some of the oldest real estate known to humanity.

The town is imbued with a great deal of historical and traditional importance. Key amongst these is the parish church dedicated to St Catherine of Alexandria, a church highly decorated and already in existence in 1436, making it one of the oldest in Malta. Today, just one aspect of interest is that the church boasts several paintings by one of Malta’s most prominent 17th Century artists – Mattia Preti.

The Church of St Mary, or more commonly known as Santa Marija ta’ Bubaqra, is a Roman Catholic church located in the village of Zurrieq in the area called Bubaqra. The church may have been built on two old chapels’ original site, one dedicated to Saint Roch and the other to Saint Sebastian. The chapel of St Mary was built after the plague of 1676. The chapel experienced major restructuring in 1961 when it was enlarged to accommodate the increasing population of the area.

In 1971 Fr Dionysius Mintoff O.F.M. took over an Air Force Hangar to use as a centre of peace activities, dedicating it to Pope John XXIII. The area was later on developed as a Peace laboratory (Laboratorju tal-Paci).

Zurrieq Chapel & Filfla

The chapel of St Leo, serves as the official cemetery chapel of Zurrieq. It is the only such chapel dedicated to Pope St Leo I in Malta. This chapel was closed in 1658 and reopened twenty years later, after the necessary restoration had been carried out. In this chapel one could also find an old painting on wood from 1343 to 1575 in the chapel on Filfla. Today this painting is located in the parish church of Zurrieq.

Zurrieq has a still standing and intact windmill that dates back to the times of the Knights of St John and which is located at Nigret. Incidentally, Nigret is where one finds Nigret Palace, which was constructed in 1715. This building includes a Chapel and today serves as a convent and an orphanage.

A key site in Zurrieq is the magnificent promenade overlooking the valley and overlooking the Blue Grotto, where one can catch a boat that will take a tour of the magical cavern and its pristine waters. Wied iz-Zurrieq as the valley and its sea surroundings are known, contains one of the deepest waters around Malta and it is one of the most favoured locations for deep sea diving and snorkelling. From such a vantage point, one can get the best view of the tiny island of Filfla, which is uninhabited and off-limits, being protected by a nature reserve act.

Ghar Hasan

Ghar Hasan is another exciting location that is imbued with legendary stories linked to the characters who lived within this huge natural cliff-edge cave.

Hagar Qim & Mnajdra

Archaeological temples which predate history and are considered amongst the oldest in the Mediterranean are located at Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. The former is a megalithic temple complex, while the latter is a megalithic temple complex. Both complexes are found within walking distance of each other and considered as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. A visitor centre is fully equipped to welcome visitors and interactively explain about the sites.

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Real Estate in Zurrieq

Certainly, this town includes a wide variety of properties ranging from the village core to any other parts of its territorial expanse. The market in this area is generally steady with several new buildings changing the landscape in this area. It is mainly populated by Maltese nationals, and it is common that first time buyers originating from Zurrieq buy their first abode close to home.

Property in Malta

The oldest buildings available for sale or even to let, will include ancient farmhouses in the centre of the village core and dispersed around the varied valleys and hillocks of the surrounding countryside. Several pre-war and post-war buildings are also still standing, some of which make ideal town houses when restored to their original magnificence. Wooden beams, handmade coloured tiling, expansive gardens, inner courtyards, archways and more.

The new areas where development has increased multifold include new and modern apartments and penthouses most of which have been selectively constructed where their owners can enjoy falling country or sea views. Indeed being of a quiet village atmosphere, Zurrieq offers a serene location with superlative investment potential.

Coordinates
35.8265818, 14.486032
Area
1,100 km (sqr)
Population
11,193
Patron Saint
St. Catherine of Alexandria