Tas-Salvatur Hill


Tas-Salvatur Hill

The statue of the Risen Christ was placed on the 320 feet high Tal-Merżuq Hill in the seventies.

In his book Malta Illustrata historian Abela says that people believed that the hill was a dormant volcano. This idea stemmed from the fact that according to tradition black smoke had once been seen coming out of the hill. Some still believe in this myth though geologists dismiss the idea as nonsense.

Another legend says that God punished the people of Gozo by engulfing the Island in darkness for three whole days. At the end of these three days a ray of light (merżuq) was seen coming out of the hill and it was hence called Tal-Merżuq.

The first statue was put on the hill in 1904 when Gozo was consecrated to Jesus the Redeemer. Hence the hill became popularly known as tas-Salvatur, that means of the Saviour. It replaced a wooden cross that had been erected earlier. The statue was not resistant to the elements and had to be replaced in the sixties. However the new statue was also destroyed when its supporting pedestal gave in during a thunderstorm. Parts of this statue could still be seen strewn around the hilltop. Today's statue is made of reinforced concrete and is thus more resistant to the will of the elements.

Source: Ministry for Gozo