Mġarr ix-Xini Regional Park

Date : 2004 to-date
Client : Xewkija and Sannat Local Councils

Collapsed walls along triq ta' gruwa.

Mġarr ix-Xini Regional Park was an initiative of Xewkija and Sannat Local Councils aimed at protecting, safeguarding, sustaining and enhancing the ecosensitive, geocultural landscapes of Mġarr ix-Xini valley. Architect Lino Bianco had proposed and promoted the idea with these local councils.

The Project Description Statement can be seen as a project brief outlining the concept underlying this initiative, a brief based on a number of baseline studies and surveys. The philosophy underlying the concept, on which the park is grounded, was quite an innovative approach to protected area management in the Maltese archipelago, that is, an inclusive, people-oriented approach.

Since the setting up of the park, this joint initiative proved to be a catalyst and a source of inspiration and promotion of this destination as a place of social, cultural and environmental value. A collage of cultural natural urban amd rural landscape. Since 2005, the site had been researched for its geocultural potential by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage jointly with the University of Malta and the local councils of Xewkija and Sannat. Various findings had supplemented the baseline surveys undertaken in preparation of the Project Description Statement, namely that the site was not only of natural (both ecological and geological) importance and high landscape value, but also of cultural heritage significance. This latter dimension had caught the attention of Luigi Maria Ugolini, the leading Italian archaeologist of the interwar period, seven decades earlier.

The site, Lino Bianco & Associates noted in their surveys of 2004, is of industrial archaeological importance dating back to the Roman period and included remains with prehistoric content. The former has already been endorsed by findings of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, noted in their Annual Reports and used in the demo of the launching of the Cultural Heritage Inventory Management System, better known as CHIMS, held on 9th February 2007.

Mgarr ix-Xini inlet.

Nowadays, Mġarr ix-Xini Regional Park is listed in COST A27 as a cultural park together with other parks in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Iceland. The list of parks includes the Pingvellir National Park, World Heritage Listed, in Iceland and the Archaeological Park of Fregellae, an ancient Roman town in Italy. Archaeological investigations at Għar ix-Xiħ, a historical and cultural troglodite cave, by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage in association with the Department of Archaeology of the University of Malta and Xewkija and Sannat Local Councils, yielded ceramics spanning from the 6th century BC to the 4th Century AD.

Click here to download the Project Description Statement.