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This blog is dedicated to Malta - my island home. My aim is not to bore you with history but to share my thoughts and a few facts together with a photo or two. For a more in -depth background of the island please go here. The purpose of this blog is not to point out the short-comings of the island. There are plenty that do that already. My wish is to show you the beauty of an island at the cross roads of the Mediterranean, a melting pot of history; a place where fact and fiction are sometimes fused to create unique myths and legends; a country that has been conquered so many times that our culture is a mish mesh of the lands that surround us and of lands far away. I confess that my greatest desire is to make you fall in love with this tiny enchanting island.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Legend Of Ghar Hasan

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There is a cave on the southern cliffs, situated on a narrow precipice and commanding a spectacular view of sheer rock-faces and miles and miles of deep blue sea. It is known as Ghar Hasan (the gh in ghar is completely silent) – Hasan’s cave.

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Like many such places there is a legend tied to this cave. In fact there a number of different versions of this legend but the central figure in all of them is a Saracen named Hasan. In the most popular version of the legend it is said that Hasan abducted a beautiful Maltese farm-girl and held her captive in this cave. This raised the ire of the locals who proceeded to attack the cave. Rather than be captured, Hasan flung the girl into the sea below and then committed suicide by jumping over the edge of the precipice.

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You may find another version of Hasan’s legend here.

Whether there is any truth to these legends is hard to tell. There is no written record to suggest that  these stories are based on facts. However I would speculate that a person named Hasan did live in this cave at some point in time and, seeing the treacherous path that leads to the cave, it is highly possible that there was someone who fell to their death from this spot. Separating the truth from the legend at this point in time is impossible and unnecessary. All true legends are shrouded in mystery and the legend of Ghar Hasan is no exception.

For a view of the cave from the sea below please visit Malta Daily Photo here.

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Note to prospective visitors

Officially, the cave is closed to the public and surrounded by a tall metal fence – so we will leave the particulars of how I managed to get in a mystery (but any other blogger worth their salt would have done what I did). The guard rail is rusted and corroded and  in most places the ground just drops vertiginously into the sea without warning. In all honesty (and perhaps because I was there all by myself) the place gave me the creeps and I did not venture inside at all but took a quick photo from the mouth of the cave. That ghostly chair that you can see in the picture above totally freaked me out until I remembered that when the cave was open to the public there used to be a man renting out torches for a few cents. I suppose that when the place was closed down he left his chair behind and no one has removed it since. Or perhaps Hasan comes back from time to time to reminisce and enjoy the solitude and the view.

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For those of interested in the cave itself, there is a short  description on this site.

Photographed at

Ghar Hasan

l/o Birzebbuga

10 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous spot Loree! The water and the color of the cliffs ... beautiful. Although if I were by myself? I would have gotten freaked out for sure! ...poor farm girl. Yes, lets hope it's just a legend!

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  2. I don't know that I've ever seen such clear, blue water with my own eyes.

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  3. Very pretty scene, Loree...I'm impressed by your bravery

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  4. Bwaaaaahaha! You just gave me a shiver down my spine with that "legend!" You are so brave and there must be some sort of blogger-of-honor award for that.

    Seriously, the cave is amazing and another treasure for Malta. Do you think that they will open it again for tourists?

    Bises,
    Genie

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  5. Hi Loree
    I've just been scrolling back through what I've missed and love your recent shots.. especially these!! fantastic... what a view.. and I so agree it is unnecessary to determine fact from legend.. It's the mystery that adds to the allure...

    Can I see a chair in there? hehe.. I found a chair in the oddest place on my travels... it's a chair conspiracy... Have fun.. and thanks for the visits!! ciao xxx Julie

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  6. What a lovely place and such a story !! Would be something for me !!

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  7. oh MY! i don't think i would be brave enough to venture out on that cliff! glad you made it there and back in one piece!

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  8. Please be careful so that we may continue to read more of your wonderful writing, and to see your beautiful photos! And what is it with men absconding with farm girls in all these legends??

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  9. I love the contrast of the deep blue sea and the warm coloured rocks. Very very nice and it makes me feel like in holidays:-) Hugs from Luzia.

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  10. Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article. I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article. great post

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