Żejtun is a town in the southeastern part of Malta, a few kilometers from the coast. The town is also known as Città Beland, named after the maiden name of the former Grand Master of the Knights of Malta Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim’s mother. The name Żejtun has its origins in Arabic and the word for olive, zaytun.
Żejtun has two twin towns. The first is Celano in the Abruzzo Region in central Italy and the second one is Tocina outside of Seville in Andalusia, Spain.
Our blog posts about Żejtun:
The History of Żejtun
Żejtun has its origins in the Phoenician and Roman eras. Previously the town controlled a much larger part of the surrounding area, going all the way to the coast of what is today Marsaskala and Marsaxlokk. Żejtun was at the time split into two communities, which were joined first with the construction of the parish church in 1692.
Żejtun received its town status in 1797 from the Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim. It was at this time that the town became known as Città Beland, after the surname of the Grand Master’s mother.
Żejtun was not spared from the many wars. In fact, it was the first town in Malta to fall during Napoleon’s invasion in 1798. The town’s inhabitants have been hailed for their bravery in the insurrection. The town was not spared during the Second World War either. It was bombed in 1942, with 27 people killed and many of its inhabitants were active in the defense of the island when it was bombed by German and Italian forces.
Sights in Żejtun
There are many historical buildings in Żejtun, with the more important and the most prominent buildings being of religious nature. There are several really old buildings as well, but then it is more the atmosphere while walking the streets that a visitor might enjoy. Many of the buildings are not higher than two floors and have the traditional Maltese balconies known as gallarija.
Jesus of Nazareth Institute
Jesus of Nazareth Institute is an orphanage. Following the Second World War it had over 200 orphans had their homes here. It looks like a large church and is run by the Jesus of Nazareth Sisters. The building dates back to 1924.
Parish Church of Saint Catherine
In Maltese Knisja Arċipretali ta’ Santa Katerina, it is the main church in Żejtun. It was completed in 1778, but the foundation dates back all the way to 1692. It is dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, who is believed to have lived between the years 287 and 305. The Church of Saint Catherine is a Roman Catholic church that is a part of the Archdiocese of Malta.
Saint Angelo’s Chapel
Saint Angelo’s Chapel is Kappella ta’ Sant’ Anġlu in Maltese. It is a Roman Catholic church built in 1670. It is dedicated to Angelus of Jerusalem.
Saint Gregory’s Church
Saint Gregory’s Church, also known as Saint Catherine’s Old Church, is located on the outskirt of the town and is the former parish church. The church is actually dedicated to St. Catherine but has its current name due to an annual pilgrimage to the site. St. Gregory is the former Pope Gregory I who lived in the 6th century. The church itself was completed in 1606, but it is unknown when work actually began.
The Millennium Monument
At the start of the new millennium, an olive tree was planted next to the parish church. The olive is an important symbol both of the town and peace. Next to the tree, there is an old canon that once was used to defend the town.
Żejtun Parish Museum
The Żejtun Parish Museum is neighboring the parish church. The museum has a collection of several kinds of arts and crafts connected with the local heritage.
Żejtun might not be famous for specific activities, but there is a lot to see and enjoy while in this town. However, anyone who is looking for a beach or wants to do some shopping might have to go on an excursion.
Beaches in Żejtun
Żejtun doesn’t have direct access to the coast. Instead, a short excursion is required to access any beach. Beaches nearby are in Marsaxlokk and Marsaskala.
Shopping in Żejtun
There are a few small shops along the central streets of Żejtun, but any memorable shopping experience might be hard to find. There is a smaller shopping center between Żejtun and neighboring Għaxaq where there is a Lidl and a few other stores.
Excursions from Żejtun
There are many possible excursions from Żejtun. Actually, the whole of Malta is within reach. Here are a few examples of places that might be of interest.
Marsaskala is a coastal resort town to the east of Żejtun. This former fishing village has grown into one of the larger towns in South-Eastern Malta. Here it is possible to find restaurants, beaches, and playgrounds.
From our visits:
- Marsaskala – Exploring Malta
- Malta Highlights – November 2021a
- Marsaskala, Malta – Sant’Antnin Family Park
- Marsaskala, Malta – Exploring the Playgrounds
- Marsaskala, Malta – A December Visit
- Marsaskala, Malta – Arrival and First Visit to the Playground
- Marsaskala, Malta – A Hike to the Three Cities and Paola
Another coastal village to the east of Żejtun is Marsaxlokk. This is an old fishing village famous for its traditional colorful boats and the daily market. This is one of the main tourist attractions in the eastern part of Malta. The colorful fishing boats, known as Luzzu, are an addition to the Maltese culture dating back to the early 12th century.
From our visits:
Mdina is the former capital of Malta and is today a small fortified town. It is one of the most impressive sights on the island and is located a bit to the west of Żejtun. Mdina is also next to the town of Rabat, a town that is possible to combine in the same visit.
From our visits:
- Mdina – Exploring Malta
- Mdina, Malta – Exploring the Old Capital of Malta
- Blue Grotto, Malta – A Hike to Dingli Cliffs and Mdina
This is one of the busier towns in Malta and a modern commercial center. For anyone looking for shopping or other urban activities, then Sliema is usually among the options on the island. Together with Saint Julian’s, Sliema makes up one of the main tourist resorts in Malta.
From our visits:
- Sliema – Exploring Malta
- Sliema, Malta – Playgrounds and City Life
- Sliema, Malta – Finding More Playgrounds
Valletta, the capital of Malta, is one of the places that most people visiting the country will try to see at least once. Its high walls and other fortifications make it an impressive sight and the view of the sea is never far away.
From our visits:
- Valletta – Exploring Malta
- Valletta, Malta – A Carnival in Town
- Valletta, Malta – A Kid Re-discovers the Island
- Valletta, Malta – Sunshine in the Capital
- Valletta, Malta – A Hike to Sliema
- Valletta, Malta – Christmas in the Capital
Żejtun with a Kid
Żejtun is a quite calm town but it still has a lot of traffic and very narrow paths for pedestrians. This might make it hard to explore the town together with kids. There are, however, parks along the outskirts of the town, which are more suitable for kids and allow them to roam a bit more freely.
Read more about Malta with kids:
Playgrounds in Żejtun
There are a few playgrounds in Żejtun, let us have a look at two of them.
Ġnien il-Qawsalla is a small playground in the western part of Żejtun. Its attractions might be most suitable for smaller kids.
This is one of the larger parks with a playground, a skate park, and a small soccer field. The park was built in the 1980s and can be found in the northern part of Żejtun.
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