One of Malta’s oldest village is found close to the centre of the island – Zebbug (meaning “olive”). In the early 18th century, Zebbug was a leading producer of cotton. Apparently, the cotton that grew in the fields of Zebbug were of high quality. Cotton was always in demand as the Valletta Grand Harbour was constantly packed with foreign ships and vessels which used cotton for their main sails.
The village is now renowned for its narrow roads, which were built many years ago when they only needed to cater for horse-driven carts. Today, the roads struggle to cope with the new modes of transportation, such that the village imposes low speeds and an empty parking bay is difficult to find.
Most of the homes found in Zebbug are Houses of Character. Some of these date back to the Knights of St John. The houses are built from Maltese material only, with some features making them distinct Houses of Character. Those which have survived in their original state show smaller windows on the lower floors, with larger windows on the remaining floors. This is because the families used to keep the rearing animals inside the home with them, though only on the ground floor. The family themselves would have their living quarters from the first floor upwards.
As the cost of living increased, many of these houses were abandoned and neglected. Today, Houses of Character are in high demand but costly, due to the low supply.
There are several well-known Maltese who hail from Zebbug, including Dun Mikiel Xerri (Maltese patriot), Dun Karm Psaila (national writer and poet, also the author of the lyrics for the Maltese National Anthem) and Mikiel Anton Vassalli (the father of today’s Maltese language), to mention a few.
The motto of the town was, and still is, “Semper virens” – translated from Latin to “ever green”.
Property for sale in Zebbug