The little village of Qrendi is a proper jewel of peacefulness located in the enchanting and rocky countryside on the south west coast of Malta.
Within its borders, you can spot wonderful views of the Blue Grotto and ride along the valley called Wied iz-Zurrieq to Ghar Lapsi coastline for a refreshing swim and of course, admire the majesty of the Neolithic Temples known as Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra.
There is something more… A legend handed down over time that also involves the mysterious island of Fifla.
It was the Mayor in person, David Schembri WHO TOLD me the legend of Il-Maqluba, a natural phenomenon, that hides a story in its Doline.
Hi David, thanks for this interview! Much appreciated!
Let’s start to tell to our friends where is il Maqluba?
Adjacent to the chapel of San Mattew, situated on the road connecting the village to Wied iz-Zurrieq, one comes across Il-Maqluba, another interesting feature quite unique to the village of Qrendi.
In fact, Il Maqluba is an interesting “quarry like” feature formed by a depression in the land, filled with Maltese trees and shrubs, quite breathtaking and truly impressive!
This area is a wild sanctuary for carob trees, where the Maltese National tree, the Gharghar (Sandarac Gum) can be found growing wild. A place where Laurel trees grow in harmony with bamboo cane and Ivy as well as Pomegranate trees grow in great abundance.
David, what does it mean Maqluba?
The Maltese name “Maqluba” actually means “over turned” and it is the name given to two similar depressions found within the Qrendi boundaries and within two miles of each other, both having totally different characteristics from one another.
Well so, now I am curious: Why Maltese called a carsic phenomenon like the doline “over turned”?
Ok, now I will tell you more…
Behind the Maqluba magnificent views comes a legend equally as impressive!
Handed down through the generations, we learn of bad people living together in a small village or hamlet (Hal-Lew). Almighty God warned the village, through a good woman living close by and often referred to as a nun, against their bad ways.
Unheeding these warnings, God decreed that the land swallow the village sparing none except the good woman. In turn, angels were dispatched to dispose of the “bad village” by dumping it at sea. Legend thus tells of the formation of the island of Filfla situated some five kilometres to the South West of the fishing port of Wied iz-Zurrieq.
I see…. Well but I cannot believe that the people in Malta were SO bad, St Paul the Apostle said that he found an unusual kindness among the locals!
“That’s nice Flora. Well, actually on the 23rd November 1343, Malta experienced one of its most severe winter storms in history, a tempest or possibly an earthquake”.
It was at this time that the formation of this phenomenon came about.
The Maqluba is a natural conical depression formed by the collapse of the underlying limestone strata, commonly known in geological terms as a doline.
It is a sinkhole collecting rainwater from as far as a five kilometre radius!
That is really interesting David, thanks! I’m happy to have being right regarding Maltese people!!
“I’m happy too Flora! I invite all of you who are reading this article to come to visit the enchanting beauty of Qrendi and to experience personally a visit at il Maqluba. It is a Natura 2000 Site, so a Special Area Conservation and a Tree Protection area, definetly worthy to be explored!”
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