The Fading Echos of Hax Xluq

Because of the ever rising number of cars on Maltese roads, and the resulting increase in traffic, people have started getting creative in which roads they take.  Long ignored by-roads suddenly see a surge in popularity as soon as someone realises that through them lies a less encumbered way of getting to where they want to be and is then promptly followed by countless others.

That is how the roads criss-crossing between fields and quarries of Siggiewi are seeing considerably more people passing through these days.

Even though these casual visitors to the area have come to go through on a daily basis most would be hard pressed to point out where the Chapel of The Assumption of Our Lady is located.  The hectic pace of life does not allow for attention to anything apart than from what one is doing in that moment so unless traffic forces them to take an unexpected detour, they would never notice the side road at whose end this chapel is cosily put away.

It is perhaps too much to expect people to go through these roads at a more leisurely pace when they have a bit more time, and to get to know the beauty that lies along them such as this chapel.  And yet they should.  For this is a quaint little chapel was once one of six that could be found in the area that was known as Hax Xluq.  It here that the first seeds of what was to become Siggiewi were sown.

This hamlet was one of four that made up Siggiewi (the other three being Hal Kbir, Hal Niklusi and Hal Kdieri), one of the oldest parishes in Malta.  A visit here is the opportunity to experience the fading fingerprint of our forefathers; most of the houses and other buildings that made up Hax Xluq have long gone but this chapel continues to help keep their memory alive.

There is no clear date as to when this chapel was built but it was there in 1575 when it was said that to be in a dilapidated state.  Indeed, it seems that in the following years it was almost completely destroyed until a benefactor, Gann Pawl Buttigieg, stepped in to pay for its rebuilding in 1583.

Since then it has been kept alive, a source of pride and devotion, whilst all around it faded away.


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