Ħaġar Qim is a megalithic temple complex dating from the Ġgantija phase (3600-3200 BC). The temple was first explored back in 1839 by Royal Engineers with further excavations taking place in 1885 and 1909. A decorated slab and seven stone statuettes from Hagar Qim are now exhibited in the Valletta Museum.
In 1992 UNESCO recognized Ħaġar Qim and four other Maltese megalithic structures as World Heritage Sites. The Megalithic Temples of Malta are described by the World Heritage Sites committee as "unique architectural masterpieces”.
The ancient builders of Ħaġar Qim used limestone in the temple's construction. The Ħaġar Qim complex consists of a main temple and three additional megalithic structures beside it. The outside entrance serves as an interior passage and connects six large chambers. The building itself is made up of a series of C-shaped rooms, known as apses.
Located in one of the prehistoric chambers at Ħaġar Qim is an elliptical shaped hole which appears in alignment with the Summer Solstice sunrise. At sunrise on the first day of summer, the sun’s rays pass through this hole to illuminate a stone slab inside the chamber.
Walking around the complex it’s hard to imagine the engineering that went into building this ancient temple without the use of modern tools. This gives the visitor a deep appreciation for these ancient sites that have existed for thousands of years.