Xewkija the village of the rotunda church, takes its name from a place where thistles grew.
At the crossroads (and traffic lights) on the Rabat-Xewkija-Mgarr road, there is a unique windmill. Instead of a square building, it is an eight-sided edifice corresponding to the eight points of the compass and the eight dominant winds.
A most spectacular effort is the parish church dome dedicated to St. John The Baptist. Completed in 1981 and paid for by the 3,500 villagers, it boasts the third largest supported dome in the world, coming in after St. Peter’s in Rome. The dome is 74 metres high, with a diameter of 27 metres and a circumference of 85 metres. Its total weight is calculated to be around 45,000 tonnes.
Of particular interest is the chapel of Our Lady of Mercy around which revolves a legend about a thief who wanted to steal a golden chalice, but ended up joining a hermit to repay his sins.
Wied Hanzira, literally meaning the “valley of the sow” is one of the deepest valleys on the island and a veritable haven for the lover of wild plants. It flows southwards from the end of the village.
Xewkija is an active village. It comprises Gozo’s industrial zone, where factories produce a number of articles for local use and for export. During weekends, the road that from Xewkija leads to Rabat, is thronged by football fans intent on an afternoon’s entertainment at the adjacent football stadium.
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