The Megalithic Temple of Hagar Qim is said to be amongst the most ancient religious sites on Earth, and is described by the World Heritage Sites committee as “unique architectural masterpieces.” In 1992 UNESCO recognized the Hagar Qim & the neighbouring temple of Mnajdra as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The surrounding landscape is typical Mediterranean, spectacular in its starkness and isolation.
The building itself is made up of a series of C-shaped rooms, known as apses. Walking through the main entrance, one finds a central paved space with an apse on each side. These apses are more firmly screened off than is usual at other temple sites using walls and slabs with square shaped portholes cut through as doorways. During the excavations a slab bearing a pair of opposing spirals in relief and a free standing pillar decorated on all four sides were found in the area.
One of the prehistoric chambers at Ħaġar Qim holds an elliptical hole, which is hewn out in alignment with the Summer Solstice sunrise. At sunrise, on the first day of summer, the sun’s rays pass through this hole and illuminate a stone slab inside the chamber.
The large space on the left holds three high so-called ‘table altars’ and a doorway to an additional chamber reached by three steps. Three more chambers form part of this building, but these can only be reached through doorways along the outer wall. Much of interest has been unearthed at Ħaġar Qim, notably stone and clay statutes of obese figures which are also found at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta.