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Ix-Xatt, Porto ErcoleMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_0_0

CountryMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_1_0 MaltaMarsaxlokk_cell_0_1_1
RegionMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_2_0 South Eastern RegionMarsaxlokk_cell_0_2_1
DistrictMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_3_0 South Eastern DistrictMarsaxlokk_cell_0_3_1
BordersMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_4_0 Birżebbuġa, Għaxaq, Marsaskala, ŻejtunMarsaxlokk_cell_0_4_1
MayorMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_6_0 Steven Grech (PL)Marsaxlokk_cell_0_6_1
TotalMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_8_0 4.7 km (1.8 sq mi)Marsaxlokk_cell_0_8_1
Population (Jan. 2019)Marsaxlokk_header_cell_0_9_0
TotalMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_10_0 3,660Marsaxlokk_cell_0_10_1
DensityMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_11_0 780/km (2,000/sq mi)Marsaxlokk_cell_0_11_1
Demonym(s)Marsaxlokk_header_cell_0_12_0 Xlukkajr (m), Xlukkajra (f), Xlukkajri (pl)Marsaxlokk_cell_0_12_1
Time zoneMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_13_0 UTC+1 (CET)Marsaxlokk_cell_0_13_1
Summer (DST)Marsaxlokk_header_cell_0_14_0 UTC+2 (CEST)Marsaxlokk_cell_0_14_1
Postal codeMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_15_0 MXKMarsaxlokk_cell_0_15_1
Dialing codeMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_16_0 356Marsaxlokk_cell_0_16_1
ISO 3166 codeMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_17_0 MT-28Marsaxlokk_cell_0_17_1
Patron saintMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_18_0 Our Lady of PompeiiMarsaxlokk_cell_0_18_1
Day of festaMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_19_0 5th Sunday in July or 1st Sunday in AugustMarsaxlokk_cell_0_19_1
WebsiteMarsaxlokk_header_cell_0_20_0 Marsaxlokk_cell_0_20_1

Marsaxlokk (Maltese pronunciation: [marsaʃˈlɔk) is a small, traditional fishing village in the South Eastern Region of Malta. Marsaxlokk_sentence_0

It has a harbour, and is a tourist attraction known for its views, fishermen and history. Marsaxlokk_sentence_1

As at March 2014, the village had a population of 3,534. Marsaxlokk_sentence_2

The village is also known for the Marsaxlokk Market, which is mainly a large fish market which takes place along the seafront on Sundays, and a tourist market during all other days of the week. Marsaxlokk_sentence_3

Inhabited and well-known since antiquity, Marsaxlokk was used as a port by Phoenicians, Carthaginians and also has the remains of a Roman-era harbour. Marsaxlokk_sentence_4

Originally a part of the city of Żejtun, the fishing village became a separate parish in the late nineteenth century. Marsaxlokk_sentence_5

Traditional luzzi and other larger and more modern vessels line the sheltered inner harbour. Marsaxlokk_sentence_6

The village is also popular among locals and tourists alike for its walks around the coast and harbour, its restaurants, as well as for its swimming zones. Marsaxlokk_sentence_7

Marsaxlokk Bay also includes a container freeport towards Birżebbuġa, a power station complex towards Delimara, and a small ship-repair facility for fishermen. Marsaxlokk_sentence_8

Marsaxlokk is sometimes referred to as Portus Herculis, due to the association of Marsaxlokk Bay with the Roman and Punic remains at Tas-Silġ. Marsaxlokk_sentence_9

Toponymy Marsaxlokk_section_0

The name Marsaxlokk comes from the Arabic word marsa, which means port and xlokk, which is the Maltese word for south-east. Marsaxlokk_sentence_10

The word is related to the name for the dry sirocco wind that blows from the Sahara, comparable to the equivalent Catalan word, xaloc. Marsaxlokk_sentence_11

The inhabitants of the village are called the Xlukkajri and are, traditionally, fishermen by trade. Marsaxlokk_sentence_12

Topography Marsaxlokk_section_1

Situated in the south-east end of the main island of Malta, Marsaxlokk bay is fed by a valley that drains the Marnisi and Ħal Ġinwi areas. Marsaxlokk_sentence_13

The Marsaxlokk floodplain is one of the smaller ones on Malta. Marsaxlokk_sentence_14

Today, a small marsh survives at the head of the bay, named Tal-Magħluq. Marsaxlokk_sentence_15

This may indicate that the bay may have been larger in the past and gradually silted up since antiquity. Marsaxlokk_sentence_16

Although there are no sources from the medieval and early modern period to prove the existence of marshes in the area, a marshy environment survives at the head of the fishing harbour. Marsaxlokk_sentence_17

Sediment deposition over recent century has silted the bay, making it significantly more shallow than in antiquity. Marsaxlokk_sentence_18

Researchers hypothesize that vessels of all sizes could have sought shelter here. Marsaxlokk_sentence_19

A sandy beach may have provided a landing place for small boats. Marsaxlokk_sentence_20

A freshwater supply exists in the valley that lies between two of the three hills dominating the bay - namely to the north-east, north and north-west. Marsaxlokk_sentence_21

Access to plains around Żejtun would have been easy via this same valley, with a meandering road linking the bay to the Żejtun Roman Villa. Marsaxlokk_sentence_22

While the bay could only have been used as a temporary anchorage without human intervention, a simple sea wall may have enabled the harbour to be used as an all-weather anchorage. Marsaxlokk_sentence_23

In antiquity, its main function would have been to serve the agricultural sites in the surrounding areas. Marsaxlokk_sentence_24

It may also have enjoyed links with the Tas-Silġ sanctuary overlooking the bay. Marsaxlokk_sentence_25

History Marsaxlokk_section_2

To the north-east of the village, on the rounded hilltop of Tas-Silġ, there is a multi-period sanctuary site covering all eras from the Neolithic to the fourth century AD. Marsaxlokk_sentence_26

The Tas-Silġ site includes megalithic remains, scattered edifices belonging to three distinct temples. Marsaxlokk_sentence_27

Cicero describes the temple of Juno in Malta in his In Verrem. Marsaxlokk_sentence_28

The temple, long associated with the remains at Tas-Silġ, contained "a large number of ornaments among which was a carefully and supremely crafted ancient ivory statue of Victory." Marsaxlokk_sentence_29

The presence of such ornaments is a clear indication of the importance of this temple not just locally but also on a Mediterranean scale. Marsaxlokk_sentence_30

Recent studies of the ceramics from Tas-Silġ led to conclusions that the sanctuary was used as a centre of exchange for both local and imported goods. Marsaxlokk_sentence_31

The remains atop the hill also include a more recent Byzantine basilica and monastery. Marsaxlokk_sentence_32

Little is known about the area during the Middle Ages, with all the casalia of the south-eastern side of the island being exposed to frequent raids and attacks by Saracen pirates and, later, raiders from the Barbary coast. Marsaxlokk_sentence_33

Modern historical studies and topology confirm that the area between Żejtun and Marsaxlokk was covered in vegetation and pasture land. Marsaxlokk_sentence_34

In the later Middle Ages, Marsaxlokk was included in medieval portolani. Marsaxlokk_sentence_35

At least three of these medieval sailing instructions, dating as far back as the 13th century mention, Marsaxlokk (as marza sinocho, Marsa silocco and marza per sirocho). Marsaxlokk_sentence_36

The Rizo portolan of 1490 gives sailing distances from Marsaxlokk to a variety of other ports in the Mediterranean including Tunis, Cephalonia and Tripoli in Libya. Marsaxlokk_sentence_37

This reflects the port's connectivity with other parts of the medieval Mediterranean. Marsaxlokk_sentence_38

The invading Ottoman navy anchored at Marsaxlokk during the Great Siege of 1565, before they completed the attack on Fort Saint Elmo. Marsaxlokk_sentence_39

The whole harbour area was systematically fortified over successive centuries, with towers, batteries and fortresses ringing Marsaxlokk bay. Marsaxlokk_sentence_40

This chain of fortifications was intended to protect the vulnerable harbour, and included Vendôme Tower, Fort Delimara, Delimara Tower, Ta' Bettina Tower, and Fort Tas-Silġ on Delimara point, on the north arm of Marsaxlokk Bay, Fort San Lucian on Kbira point in the middle of the bay, and the Pinto and Ferretti batteries on the shores of the bay towards Birżebbuġa. Marsaxlokk_sentence_41

The most prominent fortification of this chain, Fort San Lucian was built by 1611 and may have prevented a landing in the bay by Ottoman forces in 1614. Marsaxlokk_sentence_42

Napoleon's navy entered Marsaxlokk, and landed an army on the coast during the French invasion of 1798. Marsaxlokk_sentence_43

Most of the fishermen who worked out of Marsaxlokk bay hailed from Żejtun, commuting back and forth from the shore. Marsaxlokk_sentence_44

Around 1846, the first houses began to be built in Marsaxlokk, as fishermen from Żejtun settled there permanently. Marsaxlokk_sentence_45

At the end of the nineteenth century, a church was built to minister to the spiritual needs of the fishermen and their families. Marsaxlokk_sentence_46

Eventually, the fishing village of Marsaxlokk was separated from Żejtun and became a distinct parish in January 1897. Marsaxlokk_sentence_47

The construction of the parish church started in 1890. Marsaxlokk_sentence_48

It was built as a fulfillment of a promise made by Marquess Rosalia Apap Viani Testaferrata after she was saved from a violent storm at sea. Marsaxlokk_sentence_49

The church was originally built in a rectangular form with the designs attributed to Dun Ġużepp Diacono. Marsaxlokk_sentence_50

Marsaxlokk became an independent parish in 1897. Marsaxlokk_sentence_51

The feast of our lady is held on the last Sunday of July. Marsaxlokk_sentence_52

It includes a procession with the statue and a firework display. Marsaxlokk_sentence_53

In the 1930s, Marsaxlokk bay was used as a staging post by four-engined Short C-Class flying boats of Britain's Imperial Airways as they pioneered long-distance air travel to across the British Empire. Marsaxlokk_sentence_54

During the Second World War, Marsaxlokk Bay was the base for the Fleet Air Arm with a base at Kalafrana. Marsaxlokk_sentence_55

In 1989, the famous summit meeting between Soviet and US leaders Mikhail Gorbachev and George H.W. Marsaxlokk_sentence_56 Bush was held on board a ship anchored in the bay. Marsaxlokk_sentence_57

Today, the village is framed by the fuel tanks and chimneys of a power station complex, and the huge cranes of the Malta Freeport Container Terminal. Marsaxlokk_sentence_58

In recent years, Marsaxlokk also developed as a modern seaside resort. Marsaxlokk_sentence_59

The village includes a natural park at Xrobb l-Għaġin. Marsaxlokk_sentence_60

Cultural tradition Marsaxlokk_section_3

Marsaxlokk is also famous for the national boats which are the luzzu and the kajjik. Marsaxlokk_sentence_61

They serve the fisherman on fishing near the shore and for fishing away from the shore they use another type of boat. Marsaxlokk_sentence_62

Tourists also can take boat trips from Marsaxlokk to Delimara and Birzebbuġa. Marsaxlokk_sentence_63

Most of Malta's fish supplies are caught by fishermen coming from this port as about 70% of the Maltese fishing fleet is based there. Marsaxlokk_sentence_64

Swordfish, tuna, and 'lampuki' are caught in abundance between spring and late autumn. Marsaxlokk_sentence_65

On weekdays, the catch is taken to the fish-market in Marsa, but on Sundays, fresh fish is sold by fishermen directly on the quay. Marsaxlokk_sentence_66

Zones in Marsaxlokk Marsaxlokk_section_4


  • DelimaraMarsaxlokk_item_0_0
  • Ħal ĠinwiMarsaxlokk_item_0_1
  • Il-BallutMarsaxlokk_item_0_2
  • Il-FossaMarsaxlokk_item_0_3
  • Il-MagħluqMarsaxlokk_item_0_4
  • Il-WilġaMarsaxlokk_item_0_5
  • KavallerizzaMarsaxlokk_item_0_6
  • MarnisiMarsaxlokk_item_0_7
  • Marsaxlokk BayMarsaxlokk_item_0_8
  • Il-Ponta l-KbiraMarsaxlokk_item_0_9
  • San DuminkuMarsaxlokk_item_0_10
  • St. Peter's PoolMarsaxlokk_item_0_11
  • Il-Ponta Tal-QrejtenMarsaxlokk_item_0_12
  • Tal-WiċċMarsaxlokk_item_0_13
  • Tas-SilġMarsaxlokk_item_0_14
  • Torri San LuċjanMarsaxlokk_item_0_15
  • Xrobb l-GħaġinMarsaxlokk_item_0_16
  • Port RumanMarsaxlokk_item_0_17

Sports Marsaxlokk_section_5

Marsaxlokk F.C., formed in 1949, is the village's main football team. Marsaxlokk_sentence_67

It plays in the Maltese 2nd Division, with home games taking place at the Ta' Qali Stadium. Marsaxlokk_sentence_68

Marsaxlokk also has a water polo team, which dates to 1952. Marsaxlokk_sentence_69

Twin towns – sister cities Marsaxlokk_section_6

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Malta Marsaxlokk_sentence_70

Marsaxlokk is twinned with: Marsaxlokk_sentence_71


See also Marsaxlokk_section_7


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: