History of the Church

During excavation works at ‘il-Mixta’ of Ghajn Abdul, in Neolithic times according to Dr Trump, pre-historic pottery was found. This means that people lived here between 3800 – 3630BC. From these excavations made by the department of Museums, results showed that people used to live in these caves also during the Bronze Age between 1630 – 800BC.

In the areas of Dwejra and San Dimitri there are signs of car ruts on rocks, which today are buried beneath road surface. Some people think that the Phoenicians on their journeys to the west used to live in Gharb from where they planned their sea journeys.

A book written by the Maltese author Antonju Caruana – ‘Sull’Origine della lingua Maltese’ says that remains of the Phoenicians were found in Gharb.
Can G. Piet Agius de Soldanis says that ‘ix-Xaqqufija’ in Gharb is a small place where Romans used to live. In Gharb there were also Byzantine names like ‘Kardusa’ near San Dimitri. Chev. Vincent Bonello says that it might be possible that around the 7th Century, after being expelled from North Africa, some monks might have built chapels or monasteries in these areas. It could also be possible that the Byzantine inhabited the Islands before the Arabs did.

After the Arabs took over these islands Arabic became the official language. Some old people from Gharb, more than any other villages in Gozo, are still using some of these words today in their day to day life. Words similar to ‘Wied id-Dluka’, ‘Wied ir-Rahab’, ‘Ghammar’ and ‘cuplajs’, ‘srew’, ‘ghannewwel’ etc could still be heard in Gharb.

About 80 years ago the people of Gharb used to wear the ‘kabozza’ in the cold winter nights. The Arabs introduced ‘The Kabozza’ in these islands and in these islands it was associated with the village of Gharb.

Mikiel Anton Vassalli a studier of the Maltese language came to Gharb to hear the old and pure Maltese language as spoken by the old villagers of Gharb. Fr Manwel Magri came to Gharb for the same purpose, to record old words, legends and proverbs from our fore fathers, when Archpriest Fr Carmel Portelli was still alive.

The tower of Dwejra was built in 1651, during the days of the Grand Master De Paule and two canons were erected. There was another tower on ‘Ta’ Dbiegi’ hill but it perished during an earthquake.