Attractions
Spotlight on Hal Millieri: the quaint hamlet in southern Malta
The area dates back to the Roman period.

Jillian Mallia

Hal Millieri is set in the picturesque countryside between the now-towns of Zurrieq and Mqabba. Earliest documentation of the area dates back to around 1418, but actually stems from an earlier settlement, which was probably quite a large Roman country estate.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Clint Chircop (@clint_chircop) on

A 15th century settlement

Hal Millieri was a small but thriving hamlet that was home to a number of farming families who tended to the area and occupied houses found around the four chapels that once stood here. As time went by, the area was abandoned during the 18th century but for unknown reasons. The last birth was recorded in 1711 and soon after that, the residential farmhouses became ruins.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maria (@marr_bo) on

The Chapel of the Annunciation

The Chapel of the Annunciation is the most prominent out of the four, and one of the only two that remain as reminders of the lost hamlet. The chapel was seemingly constructed back in 1480 on the site of an earlier one, and is an example of a typical local church during the Medieval period. Like the hamlet in its entirety, this chapel also suffered abandonment after the area was depopulated.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Pier Massa (@pmmassa) on

The breath-taking frescoes

The local restoration NGO, Din L-Art Helwa took the chapel under its wing and began restoring it back to its former glory in the 1960’s. This restoration revealed magnificent frescoes, dating back to the 1450’s, beneath the layers of plastering as a result of the whitewashing of the chapel’s inner walls over the years. Time wasn’t kind to these artworks and the lower sections of the paintings have been lost.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Thomas Sammut (@samtom1996) on

The 2019 restoration

In February 2019, the Maltese Islands were hit with an incredible storm that left quite some damage in various locations. Among this storm’s victims was the medieval chapel at Hal Millieri. The Chapel of the Annunciation was undergoing repairs to its rubble walls and pathways that were severely damaged during the storm, dubbed as Hurricane Dnegel. Thankfully, works were completed just in time for the village festivities to be held on 24th March.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Nicole Bonavia (@nicole_bonavia) on

Visiting Hal Millieri’s prominent chapel

Due to the chapel’s fragile state, it’s only open to the public once a month on the first Sunday between 9am and 12pm (noon). Hal Millieri can be reached through a side road off the Blue Grotto Avenue in Zurrieq. While entrance is free, a donation to continue the upkeep and preservation of the area and chapel, is greatly appreciated. For anyone visiting, an expert guide  Din L-Art Helwa guide will take you back in time, filling you in on the incredible details of Hal Millieri and its age-old surroundings.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by David Demarco (@daviddemarco14) on

Have you visited Hal Millieri’s incredible surroundings?

8th October 2019


Jillian Mallia
Written by
Jillian Mallia
A book lover, writer and globetrotter who loves exploring new places and the local gems that the Maltese Islands have to offer. An avid foodie and arts fanatic, Jillian searches the island and beyond for the perfect settings to write about.

You may also like...
Attractions
Attractions
Here’s what the ideal weekend on the sister isle looks like.

Sarah Micallef
Attractions
Attractions
Take a fascinating walk through Malta’s military history from 5000 BC to modern times in Malta’s most strategically located 16th century fort.

Adriana Bishop
Attractions
Attractions
The annual musical extravaganza kicks off this week in honour of its founder Mro Joseph Vella, starring world class musicians and artistes. And it’s all free!

Adriana Bishop
Attractions
Attractions
The iconic monument guarding the entrance to Malta’s capital city springs back to life after restoration.

Adriana Bishop
Attractions
Attractions
Discover the northernmost part of the island

Melanie Drury