Ghaxaq is a small village in the south of Malta, with some 5000 residents. It has a very old history, usually associated with the feudal control of the Asciak or Axiaq nobility, back in the 14th century. The family name is said to be namesake of the village, however, others cite the name as derivative of the Arab word meaning “delight”. Until 1626, the village was part of the Zejtun parish, even though it had its first chapel built in 1511. It was not until 1784, more than 150 years of being a parish, that Ghaxaq got its very own parish church.
It is safe to say there is more rural land than built land in Ghaxaq. The rural tradition remains strong, with working farms and plenty of wild countryside. Although Ghaxaq has a busy thoroughfare running through it, partly due to its vicinity to the airport, it is still an impressively quiet village. At the heart of the village, surrounding the parish church, is the old part of the village, with intimate, winding alleys from a few centuries back. The modern part of the village is extends beyond the by-pass, a long avenue of trees that effectively links the village to other parts of the island.
Church - The Parish Church, dating from 1784, is dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady. Its construction took over 50 years to build, with works carried out by the very villagers of Ghaxaq who are also well-appreciated stone masons. Attributed to architect Sebastian Saliba, its foundation stone was laid by Bishop Alpheran de Bussan, in 1733. It is built in the ‘modern’ style of its day, a very imposing high Baroque, and evidence of this is the luscious interior of the church, with numerous antique relics, reliquaries and artefacts gracing the interiors.
The countryside in Ghaxaq is very particular as it has both farmland and wild garigue, all connected with pathways and lanes, which all make for great walking experiences. Great vistas are guaranteed, as well as some interesting sites. Another interesting facet is that one can walk all the way to Birzebbuga’s Ghar Dalam or Pretty Bay, or head the other way towards Gudja and Hal Far.
Ghaxaq boasts a very particular building, and one probably unique to Malta - the Snail House. The facade of this old residence is covered in snail and sea shells of all kinds, creating a beautiful facade full of religious icons. It was masterminded by Andrew Dimech, back in the late 19th century, making it more than a 100 years old, and although it is falling in disrepair, one can still see a big part of it.
A big part of Maltese summer life, is the Festa. Ghaxaq is no stranger to summer feasts, in fact it celebrates two - St Joseph in June and The Assumption of Our Lady in August. A whole weekend of festivity is devoted to each, with opulent decorations all over the village.
Another big event in the village is the improvised carnival in February, which has become increasingly popular and much visited by fun-loving costume-wearing visitors.
This quaint, residential village has recently grown with an influx of new properties, making this area very popular, especially with first time buyers. In spite of this, the most popular properties remain village-core townhouses or farmhouses enjoying rural areas, as well as land plots, the latter being now very limited in availability. A choice number of properties come with sizeable outdoor areas. Modern maisonettes and apartments, and houses of character are also to be found.
Property for sale in Ghaxaq