A wonderful behind the scenes shot of Gharb square Gozo taken over for the Christmas special in Gozo.
Small and picturesque, Gharb is a classic Gozitan village. The majestic Ta' Pinu Basilica is only a ten-minute stroll away, making it the perfect starting point for a day spent exploring the surrounding area on foot.
Gharb is located on the western side of the island of Gozo, and its name is thought by some to
be derived from the Arabic word for sunset. It is bounded on one side by the
sea and on the other by the communities of St. Lawrence and Ghasri. Some of the most stunning scenery on the island may be seen in the vicinity of Gharb, particularly on Dbiegi, the island's highest peak, where there is also a fascinating Gozitan arts and crafts center.
Though small in stature, Gharb packs a powerful personality. In recent years, a postcard featuring the village square has become a symbol of Gozo. In the heart of the village, you may see the beautifully adorned stone balconies and check out the unique folk museum. The museum first opened in 1996 to showcase the trades and crafts that used to thrive on the Maltese islands. It does so by presenting the various instruments and equipment used in these fields in a simulated workshop setting.
Once just a small settlement, Gharb grew became its own parish in 1679 after a long history of settlement. The parish church, built in a baroque style in 1729, is dedicated to the Visitation of Our Lady to St. Elizabeth. While the 31st of May is the official feast day, the first weekend in July is when the community celebrates with all its pomp and splendour.
The Basilica of Ta' Pinu, one of the most well-known churches on Malta, can be found just outside the city borders of Gharb. Here, in 1883, a local woman claims to have heard the Virgin's voice, and therefore this place has become the most important Virgin Mary shrine in the country. The adorable San Dimitri Chapel can be found within Gharb's city limits as well. According to the legend, a woman whose son St. Demetrius had released from captivity erected this church on the cliffside.
Francis Xavier Mercieca, also known as Frenc tal-Gharb, was one of the most well-known people with ties to Gharb. Despite not having studied medicine properly, he has become well-known for his ability to heal utilizing traditional medicines, prayer, and techniques like foot massage. Aside from his healing and advising abilities, he was also known for his uncanny ability to predict the future. Gharb is home to the house he was born in, raised in, and passed away from in 1967.