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Żejtun treasure hunt being held on Friday

Third edition is great way to find out about town's history

The hunt is open for children and adults, who will discover interesting facts about Żejtun. Photos provided by Sean Chircop

The hunt is open for children and adults, who will discover interesting facts about Żejtun. Photos provided by Sean Chircop

A few centuries ago, for a number of years, a poor girl was chosen from Żejtun or Vittoriosa and given a second chance at life.

The Chapel of St Mary of Ħal Tmin.The Chapel of St Mary of Ħal Tmin.

However, when it was time for the chosen girl to marry, she would have to recite her vows in the chapel of St Mary of Ħal Tmin.

This 1597 chapel is one of several ‘treasures’ that participants had to track down during the yearly Żejtun National Heritage Treasure Hunt.

The third edition is being held on Friday and participants can win €2,000 in prizes.

The hunt is open to children and adults, and participants will learn and discover interesting facts about the history of the southeast of the country, especially about the locality of Żejtun.

There are 50 hidden gems and historical facts to discover, with the young participants walking around the core village heritage trail, while adults will go around the whole 5.27km sq area.

When the Żejtun people won a battle against French soldiers near the Capuchins’ Convent, in Kalkara, in 1890, they returned home with a triumph cross which they installed in a prominent place. Together with a canon used to defend Żejtun from the French, the cross is still in the square today.When the Żejtun people won a battle against French soldiers near the Capuchins’ Convent, in Kalkara, in 1890, they returned home with a triumph cross which they installed in a prominent place. Together with a canon used to defend Żejtun from the French, the cross is still in the square today.

One little-known fact is that St Mary chapel was built by Leonardo Tabone, who in his will expressed a wish that a poor girl – one from Żejtun and another from Vittoriosa in alternative years – was helped out each through the rent earned from his fields.

The chosen girl had to marry in the chapel.

Another fine building is a palace known as Aedes Danielis (the house of Daniel), which is owned by the Testaferrata Bonici family. Gregorio Bonici, a parish church benefactor, built the palace in memory of his brother Daniel and the facade hosts a niche of Daniel the Prophet. This is quite rare, and possibly the only one in Malta that depicts a biblical figure from the Old Testament.

Two private chapels, dedicated to St Angelo and Our Lady of Good Counsel, sit next to the palace.

This seems to have been a popular tradition among nobility, with Margarita dei Conti Manduca building a chapel that the people of Żejtun still refer to as Tas-Sinjura (belonging to the rich lady).

The chapel is situated in Ta’ Tavlin, an area in the upper part of Żejtun.

The treasure hunt is being organised by the Żejtun Organisation to Empower You in collaboration with the Żejtun Local Council and Valletta18 Foundation.

50 hidden gems and historical facts to discover

The adventure kicks off from Ġnien l-Għannejja Żwieten (known as St Gregory’s Gardens), St Thomas Bay Road at 6pm.

Prizes include weekend breaks and all-inclusive cruises. All the participants will be given various prizes, even if they just take part.

Margarita dei Conti Manduca built a chapel next to her palace, which the people of Żejtun still refer to as Tas-Sinjura.Margarita dei Conti Manduca built a chapel next to her palace, which the people of Żejtun still refer to as Tas-Sinjura.

One does not need to know about the locality of Żejtun, as all the participants will be given a map and information about each place. They just need to fill in the blanks or take a selfie.

For those aged between eight and 17, the hunt will be done on foot, while those over 18 need to drive or cycle to find the treasure using a camera, smartphone, or tablet.

Registration is free of charge from www.facebook.com/zoeymalta or the Żejtun Local Council.

More information on 2166 3866/9920 3815 or by an e-mail on chircop.sean@­.com.

In the past Żejtun hosted Bisqallin, Ħal Bisbut and Ħal Ġwann quarters, but these were situated far away from the old parish church. In 1575 Mgr Dusina ordered the transfer of the Holy Eucharist from the old parish church to the Bisqallin chapel, now the Chapel of Our Saviour. But this gave rise to civil disagreement between the people of Ħal Bisbut and Bisqallin, so the Holy Eucharist had to be transferred again to the old parish church. When it was time to build a new parish church, this was constructed exactly between these two quarters.In the past Żejtun hosted Bisqallin, Ħal Bisbut and Ħal Ġwann quarters, but these were situated far away from the old parish church. In 1575 Mgr Dusina ordered the transfer of the Holy Eucharist from the old parish church to the Bisqallin chapel, now the Chapel of Our Saviour. But this gave rise to civil disagreement between the people of Ħal Bisbut and Bisqallin, so the Holy Eucharist had to be transferred again to the old parish church. When it was time to build a new parish church, this was constructed exactly between these two quarters.

Participants can win more than €2,000 in prizes.Participants can win more than €2,000 in prizes.

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