Heritage Malta is marking this year’s European Heritage Days – which take place in the 50 countries party to the European cultural convention – with a programme of events between October 1 and 3.

There will be guided tours and discussions, special openings of closed sites, workshops at UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and an open day at Heritage Malta’s conservation labs – all at a minimal fee or free of charge.

This year’s shared theme is the celebration and promotion of inclusivity, which fits perfectly with Heritage Malta’s own mission of accessibility, the agency said. 

On October 1, HM, with the collaboration of the Mġarr council is organising an event for senior citizens at Ta' Ħaġrat, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Participants will be given a guided tour of the site, with a choice either at 8.30am or at 9am, followed by a discussion with the site’s curator at the council premises.

The talk will focus on daily life in the Neolithic period, and the community's involvement in the excavation of the site. Participation is free but pre-booking at the Mġarr council is required. 

On October 2, HM is inviting the public to visit two unique sites which are normally closed for conservation purposes – St Augustine’s Catacombs and the Abbatija tad-Dejr, both in Rabat.

Abounding in exquisite examples of rock-cut tombs, both sites offer a mine of information on the Punic-Roman period and some of the earliest Christian communities on our islands.

Tickets at a reduced price of €3, giving joint access to both sites, will be available at the sites’ entrance on the day. HM members enter for free. Opening hours are from 10am to 4.30pm.

On the same day, children and teenagers aged eight to 14 years are invited to visit the Ġgantija megalithic temples for the workshop ‘Pigment and Patterns: Artistic Creativity in Prehistory’, to explore the site with a difference.

Participants will first be guided through this world-renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, then led to the children’s area in the site’s interpretation centre, where local artist Victor Agius will explain further on prehistoric art and offer a hands-on art session.

Participants can choose whether to take part in the first session, focusing on canvas painting, or the second, focusing on 3D art using clay. Admission is free, but a reservation at any Heritage Malta museum or site is required.

On October 3, Heritage Malta will be opening the doors of its conservation laboratories in Bighi, Kalkara, to the public.

Visitors will have the opportunity to come up close to prestigious national artefacts and learn about the measures being taken to keep them conserved for future generations. Opening hours are from 10am to 3pm. Admission is free. 

All attendees must wear a face mask and respect social distancing measures. The European Heritage Days in Malta are coordinated by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage.

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