Culture
Discover the Jesus Tree of Malta, a symbol of devotion and faith
This tree is anything but ordinary.

Melanie Drury

Crucifix Tree

Mark Worthington

The Crucifix Tree, also known as the Jesus Tree, is probably one of the most famous trees ever to inhabit the island. Most adults living today will still remember where the original site, at the base of Saqqajja Hill, in all its glory.

The pine tree is reputed to have been struck by lightning, following which appeared the unmistakable likeness of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Faithful locals soon made the tree a place of pilgrimage, considering it an apparition of sorts.

Jesus Tree

The Crucifix Tree even had a plaque at its base, with candles and fresh flowers placed there regularly by the devout. It made its way to guidebooks, with tourists stopping to photograph the landmark on their way to the Silent City of Mdina or the Ta’ Qali Crafts Village nearby. And soon, it would even be featured on two of Malta’s national newspapers.

But, alas, it wasn't to last. When the Jesus Tree was uprooted in 2008, locals rang the local council incessantly, begging for the tree to be saved. And when, almost a year later, the tree showed signs of extreme deterioration, national newspapers reported that the Crucifix tree was to be turned into a monument. It would seem that the tree was getting preferential treatment, contrary to what the Environmental Landscapes Consortium spokesman had once claimed.

Crucifix Tree

Today, the Crucifix Tree is still found on the same road, in a slightly different location. However, it is missing its head and roots. Only the trunk remains, with the plaque, flowers and candles remaining fixtures. Although it's not quite as glorious as it used to be, the devout still visit it faithfully.

See the Jesus Tree and decide for yourself whether it really resembles the Christ on the Cross. It is found on the tree-lined road leading from Attard to Saqqajja Hill in Rabat. Today, you can find it on the left side about half way up the hill. It even has a convenient little lay-by beside it for easy parking.

16th February 2019


Melanie Drury
Written by
Melanie Drury
Melanie was born and raised in Malta and has spent a large chunk of her life travelling solo around the world. Back on the island with a new outlook, she realised just how much wealth her little island home possesses.

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