The Naxxar Locality is spread over an area of 11 square kilometres with a population of about 13,443 people as of March 2014. The annual village feast is celebrated on 8 September. Naxxar was formerly known for hosting the Maltese International Trade Fair at Maltese International Trade Fair Grounds.
It is located in the Northern Region of Malta and comprises the Naxxar centre, Sgħajtar area, Santa Marija tax-Xagħra, San Pawl tat-Tarġa, Birguma, Magħtab, Salina, Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq and part of Madliena.
Naxxar is famous for its cart ruts that curve and twist down the Great Fault escarpment.
Sites and places to visit
Palazzo Parisio was built by Marquis Giuseppe Scicluna. Before, this site was occupied as a summer residence by the Jesuit Community. After buying the property in 1898, Marquis Scicluna altered it into its present state, purchased more land at the back and converted it into a big garden. All this was done between 1898 and 1906.
All the artistic designs were done by Italian artists who were brought to Malta on purpose. The paintings on the ceiling are the works of the Italian artist Filippo Venuti.Marquis Scicluna used this palazzo as his private residence for only a short period, till 1907. After the death of the Marquis, the Palazzo stopped being used as a private residence and was changed into a tourist attraction and as a wedding hall.
In 1962 and for many years following, Marquis John Scicluna let a significant part of the gardens of the Palazzo to the International Trade Fair Corporation.
Naxxar Parish church
Naxxar Parish church was built in the 17th and is strategically located in the main square of Naxxar. The grand façade of the church is on the baroque style; having a massive bronze door and two clocks, one of which is a painting showing the time as quarter to twelve. On the inside, the main attractions are the painting shows the Birth of Our Lady by Mattia Preti (1613-1699) and the statue of the Vitorja (Our Lady of Victories), which holds a display of precious jewels that the Naxxar people offer the Vitorja in return for answering their prayers.
Defence towers and fortifications
When the Knights of St. John arrived in Malta they built a number of towers, two of which are in Naxxar: Tal-Kaptan Tower and Gauci Tower. Both were crucial during the Great Siege of 1565. After the Seige, the Knights saw the need to strengthen Malta’s defence line, and so they built another 13 towers, two of which are also in Naxxar. The Ghallis Tower guards the entrance to Salina Bay while the Qalet Marku tower is just a few hundred metres away. Both towers have recently been restored to their original state by the “Din l-Art Helwa” Foundation, and are open to the public by appointment. In the 1930’s, when Malta was under the British rule, a number of pill-boxes were built both along the coast and inland. One of these pill-boxes is at the summit of the “T’Alla w Ommu” Hill in Naxxar. It has a squarish shape and has two levels – the top level used to shoot at the enemy and the lower level used as lodging for soldiers.
Traditions and festivalsNaxxar Festa
The Naxxar Festa is held on the 8th of September, in honour to Our Lady of Victory. Naxxar is thriving with activity during the week prior to the festa. The Parish Church and the main streets are decorated in bright festive colours and people go out to the centre to listen to brass bands playing cheerful music and watch the air and ground fireworks that fill the air with a beautiful array of colours. On the streets, there are stalls selling local delicacies, such as candy floss and Nougat – it is the typical Maltese Festa sweet made out of sugar paste and nuts.