Il-Maqluba: The myths and legends surrounding the cavity in Malta.
Il-Maqluba is a natural sinkhole located in Qerndi. It means “upside-down” or “upturned”. This hole is around 50m in diameter, with a depth of 15m, an area of 6000m² and a perimeter of 300m. A big hole indeed!
There’s a lot of myths and legends surrounding this place so without further ado let us dive into them.
Il-Maqluba: The myths and legends surrounding the cavity in Malta: Theory number 1
This might be the most famous of all the tales. On the 23rd of November 1343, Malta had experienced one of the most severe storms and possibly the worst earthquake to hit the island. This caused the limestone to collapse. Now, it collects rainwater and maintains our under-water supplies.
During the middle ages, however, this explanation wasn’t available. Therefore they turned it into a legend. The legend goes that were a group of naughty, evil people living in a hamlet(tiny village). God warned them of their debauchery through a good woman who lived nearby. These naughty people ignored her. So, God wanted to teach them a lesson by making the land swallow the hamlet keeping only the woman alive. Then, Angels were dispatched to dispose of the hamlet to the sea creating the lovely island of Filfla located in the southeast in Malta. Whoever came up with this legend is a brilliant storyteller.
Il-Maqluba: The myths and legends surrounding the cavity in Malta: Theory number 2
God was so displeased about these naughty people bad ways that he tore the ground and sent those people through hell but these people were so evil that not even the Devil wanted anything to do with them. (how bad can anyone be?) So, God threw the ground in the sea which became the creation of Filfla now, as you can see because of these myths or legends Filfla had fallen as an unhappy victim of these tales.
Il-Maqluba: The myths and legends surrounding the cavity in Malta: Theory number 3
This legend follows the same pattern. Evil, bad people lived in a village. This time however a giant got fed up with their naughty ways so he scoped a handful of the land and dispatched it to the sea which becomes the creation of Filfla.
The more believable theory surrounding the Maqluba that has historical facts.
Studies show however that il- Maqluba might have been used as a well for the Phoenicians. The type of limestone in the area is soft and it’s called Tas-Sekonda. Something to do with the stone being inferior and deteriorating quickly. For years, the heavy waters had melted the stone and the wells were excavated. It’s been said there is a natural cave in the middle (like Ghar Dalam) when the waters came in, it melted the stone Tas-Sekdona which in turn was swallowed and formed the land we know today. According to historical facts, this happened around the time of the 13th century when a tempest hit the island. The road leading to the Maqluba is named for this tempest.
We hope you enjoyed these legends of the Maqluba. For information about our private and group tours click here.