Kercem

Kercem

Kercem is the village closest to Rabat and its name is probably derived from that of a family living in the area in the 15th century.  The Rabat – Kercem road passes through the upper part of Lunzjata Valley. This fertile valley is one of the most picturesque in Gozo. It is further embellished by a charming spring dating back to 1698.  The Knights of St. John were so taken by this spot that they favoured it for their hunting. Just at the point where the road forks on the left to the valley, there is Ghar Gerduf, the site of 3rd/4th century christian catacombs. Once, some four chapels were clustered together in this spot and excavations in the vicinity revealed that there might also have been a group of Roman baths.

A traditional procession used to wend its way from the cathedral in the citadel to the parish church of Kercem, on 12 March, the feast of Pope Gregory the Great, to whom the parish is dedicated together with the Virgin Mary of Perpetual Succour.  Before marriage, Gozitan bridegrooms used to promise their brides to take them to this procession every year.


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