November 27, 2013 Editor

Malta Upside Down at il-Maqluba

[lead]If you find yourself near Qrendi with a bit of time on your hands, the enormous sinkhole at il-Maqluba is well worth a visit. The hole was formed in 1343 when the roof collapsed on a massive cave. It left a ‘Solution Subsidence Structure’ – a crater hundreds of feet across and between 40 and fifty metres deep.[/lead]

Il-Maqluba is pretty well hidden so you are unlikely to come across it by accident. The easiest way is to follow Triq It-Tempesta – the road that leads to Qrendi from Mqabba and continue with Qrendi on your right side until you come to the chapel of Saint Matthew in a little square (more of a triangle actually). You will find a safe path leading to il-Maqluba on the left side of the chapel.


There is a simple observation area where you can look out over the crater. The bottom is covered with bamboo, sandarac gum, carob and pomegranate trees. 

As well as the strictly geological explanatation for Maqluba’s existance, there is a much more colourful local legend. The short version goes something like this…

“In and around the current site of Maqluba, there was a small hamlet full of wicked people. Exact details of their transgressions are not recorded but, they received several warnings from God through the offices of a virtuous local woman. She was shrugged off as a nosey neighbor so God took direct action by blowing the little village of the face of the planet. The remains landed upside down in the sea off Malta’s southern coast and is today known as the island of Filfla.”

In many arabic dialects, Maqluba means upside down!


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