Naxxar is a charming village with an old past.
In fact, it dates back to the pre-history as cart ruts, Punic tombs and Catacombs have been discovered in various areas.

Where is it located?

Naxxar is built on a hill in the in the Central-Northern Region of Malta, covering an area of 11 km2 and a population of over 11 thousand. The whole locality comprises the Naxxar centre, Sgħajtar area, Santa Marija tax-Xagħra, San Pawl tat-Tarġa, Birguma, Magħtab, Salina, Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq and part of Madliena.

Naxxar History

Most probably, Naxxar got its name from the shipwreck of St. Paul in Malta. Tradition says that the people of Naxxar were the first to help when the ship hit the rocks. Then St. Paul converted the villagers to Christianity and this is why many people connect Naxxar with Nassar, which actually means ‘conversion to Christianity’. This theory is further proved by the village motto ‘Prior credidi’, which means ‘The First People to Believe’.

What to see and what to do in Naxxar

Although Naxxar seems to be purely a residential town, a small stroll in the village shows you otherwise. In the main square of Naxxar, there is Palazzo Parisio and the Parish Church, while the old part of Naxxar hosts several narrow streets and quaint houses that make Naxxar a very picturesque town.

  • Naxxar is famous for its cart ruts (cart tracks) that curve and twist down the Great Fault escarpment.
  • Palazzo Parisio in Naxxar was built by grandmaster Manoel de Vilhena in the 18th century. The palace was used by the Jesuit Community as a University. After buying the property in 1898, Marquis Scicluna altered it into its present state and purchased more land at the back, converting it into a large garden, between 1898 and 1906.
  • Palazzo Nasciaro, also known as Casa Nasciar, is an 18th-century townhouse in Naxxar (Casal Nasciaro), Malta, built during the Order of St. John. The townhouse date back to before the 18th century when it was as a family residence. The building went through different adaptive reuse in its history reflecting the needs of the locals. It was purposely built to served as the official house, and sometimes as a country home of the architects who designed it themselves. The palace served as the Lieutenant’s House (Dar -il Kmand), during the British period, serving a post for the administration of regions in Malta. Eventually it became the first police station in Naxxar and the first police headquarters of the region. Then the building became the first primary school of Naxxar when the population was very sparse at the time. It also consists of a World War II shelter that was utilised by the local community when Malta was bombarded and it hosted a maternity underground hospital. Now is a private residence.
  • Naxxar Parish Church: Naxxar Parish church was built in the 17th and is strategically located in the main square of Naxxar. The grand façade of the church is on the baroque style; having a massive bronze door and two clocks, one of which is a painting showing the time as quarter to twelve. On the inside, the main attractions are the painting shows the Birth of Our Lady by Mattia Preti (1613-1699) and the statue of the Vitorja (Our Lady of Victories), which holds a display of precious jewels that the Naxxar people offer the Vitorja in return for answering their prayers. 
  • Naxxar Festa: The Naxxar Festa is held on the 8th of September, in honour to Our Lady of Victory. Naxxar is thriving with activity during the week prior to the festa. The Parish Church and the main streets are decorated in bright festive colours and people go out to the centre to listen to brass bands playing cheerful music and watch the air and ground fireworks that fill the air with a beautiful array of colours. On the streets, there are stalls selling local delicacies, such as candy floss and Nougat – it is the typical Maltese Festa sweet made out of sugar paste and nuts.