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Xewkija, which is situated between Ghajnsielem and the capital town, Victoria, is the oldest village in Gozo. It became the first parish outside Victoria on the 27th November 1678. It was separated from the Matrix by Bishop Glormu Molina and Dun Grezz Farrugia from Valletta, became its first parish priest. It became the first district 'contrada' to be known as 'casale' or village.

 

The word Xewkija is derived from Arabic and shows that there had been vast fields full of thorns in the past. Xewkija is famous/very well known for its majestic church, The Rotunda, which is dedicated to St. John The Baptist. It replaced an older church. This church is the Seat of the Knights of the Order of St. John. It was built from Maltese stone by local masons and craftsmen. It is the largest in Gozo and its dome dominates the village. Its architect was Joseph D'Amato.

On the suburbs of the village there are the University of Malta (Gozo Section) and the offices of the Employment & Training Corporation. There are also the Gozo Stadium, the Government Farm, St. Mary's Cemetery and Xewkija Cemetery. There is also an Industrial Estate which employs hundreds of Gozitan worker.
church

 

mithna

The rising population in Xewkija needed more building sites for houses and housing Estates have been developed at Tal-Barmil, Ta' Gokk and Tal-Hamrija.

When one enters the village from the main road one sees the remains of a mill erected in the times of Grand Master Perellos. This is unique mill in Gozo because it has points which show the eight principal wind directions.

 

On the site where the present church is, it was said that there was a stone known as 'Maqghad ix-Xih'. Near it there is a small ancient chapel known as Madonna tal-Hniena (Our Lady of Charity) which was dedicated to San Bartilimew. The tower of Santa Cecilja had been in the limits of Xewkija. There is another tower with the oldest sundial in Xewkija. Remains of Tinghi Tower disappeared in the last century. These towers date back to 1613. Another 14th century tower which was used by the Grandmasters as a summer residence was the Tower of Gorgion, also in Xewkija. It was demolished (brought down ) to make way for a temporary airport during the Second World War.
oldestclock torrigorgion

 

At Misrah Imbert one can see the cart ruts coming from Borg Gharib, Mgarr ix-Xini, Ta' Cenc and Tas-Salvatur.

Xewkija during Arab times is an interesting study case. A marble slab of Majmuna with an Arabic inscription dating back to 1173 was found in Xewkija. It commemorates the death of an Arabic girl named Majmuna, who died in Xewkija. The inscription is carved in a thick marble slab, on the underside there is a pagan symbol. It was probably taken from some pagan temple. Brother Gabrijel D'Alappo translated it into Italian and it was later translated into Maltese. It was sent to the Public Library in Malta in 1845 and brought to the Gozo National Museum in 1960. Today the Majmuna Stone is one of the most highly cherished historical treasures in our islands.

majmuna cartruts

 

The Banda Prekursur (Precursor Band) is the oldest organization in Xewkija. It was set up on 13th May 1929. Lorenzo Zammit Haber, Marcell Mercieca, Guiseppe Buttigieg, Giovanni Haber and Tomaso Attard were among its founders. The first meeting was held at 8.40p.m and the band was christened (given its name). Mr. Lorenzo Zammit Haber was both President and Secretary.

The coat of arms of Xewkija is a shield on a gold background with a red horizontal strip between two thorns, one above and one below.

The population of Xewkija is about 3,550 and it's area is of 4km sq.

armabanda armaxewkija2

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