Much of interest has been unearthed at Hagar Qim, notably a decorated pillar altar, two table-altars and some of the ‘fat lady’ statues on display in the National Museum of Archaeology, Valletta. Hagar Qim itself consists of a single temple unit. However, it is not clear if it was constructed as a four- or five-apse structure. Another aspect of Hagar Qim is the small, three-apse structure near the temple which may have been the quarters of the temple's priest or shaman. Other temple ruins stand a few metres away from the main temple.
The forecourt and façade follow the pattern typical of temples across the Islands.
Particularly noteworthy are the larger orthostats at the corners, which are notched to take the second of the horizontal courses above. Apart from the replacement of a few original blocks which fell, such as the lintel over the main doorway, no restoration has been done.
Beyond the first pair of apses, the temple interior is more firmly screened off than is usual at other temple sites. Visual access seems to have been limited to porthole slabs. The only decorations at this point are a single, displaced sill stone bearing a pair of opposing spirals like those of Tarxien Temple, and the most attractive of all free-standing altars discovered at temple sites.
Through the next doorway, the right-hand apse has a curious setting of low orthostats forming a sort of pan as if intended for the corralling of animals. The left-hand side apse has a high trilithon altar on its left and three on pillar altars, two on the right with another in a small chamber behind. Less an apse than a passage, this gives access to one of the additional chambers. It consists of part of a temple unit, a central court, niche and right apse, tacked closely against the main temple. A low standing pillar stands at the end of the apse. A more complete unit – entrance, court, niche, and one pair of apses, lies to the north, and two simple oval chambers to the west.
In the external enclosing wall, the first orthostat behind the right-hand corner of the façade is one of the largest of any temple. Standing at 6.4m long, it is estimated to weigh close to 20 tonnes. The upright menhir stands 5.2m high.
Hagar Qim Temples
Joint admission fees to Hagar Qim Temples and Mnajdra Temples: 9 / 6,50 EUR
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