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“Temple of doom”

Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Paola
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: PLEASE NOTE that this site is TEMPORARILY CLOSED. Tours of the site are therefore currently suspended. The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is an underground prehistoric burial site, a complex made up of interconnecting rock-cut chambers set on three distinct levels. Earliest remains at the site date back to about 4000BC, and the complex was used over a span of many centuries, up to c. 2500 BC. The Hypogeum was first opened to the public in 1908. Due to its uniqueness, the site became very popular with visitors. Unfortunately, this had a negative impact on the delicate microclimate of the site. For this reason, a conservation project was conducted that also included the closure of the site for 10 years between 1990 and 2000. As a result of these studies, a new visiting system was established. Nowadays, only 10 visitors an hour are now allowed inside the Hypogeum for a maximum of 8 tours a day. This system is also complemented by an environmental control system which keeps temperature and humidity at required levels.Tickets for the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum should be bought well ahead of the chosen visiting date since tours are often fully booked weeks in advance.For more information visit Heritage Malta's website.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Temple of doom”
Reviewed March 24, 2013

This is a bit of a weird one,we read about it and booked two months in advance,when we got there it was booked until the end of April so if you want to see it you need to plan,no photos allowed and they take your bags of you,but it is worth a visit as you go in there is a running commentary and they show you a film which is a little tedious but as you are lead into the first level it is amazing to think that this temple is there in the middle of the town and the main temple is awe inspiring,well worth a visit,they mention at the end that there are temples around the corner called the tarxien temples these too are worth looking at,but one word of advice get a heritage pass for 35 euros and you can see all of the museums and archeological sites except the hypogeum,it will save you a lot of money,you can visit the museums in Valletta with the pass,and the palace,a good investment and the seven day bus pass for 12 euros is great.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Paul N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Bottom of a mountain Scotland
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
Reviewed March 8, 2013

You must book this place in advance as few if any tickets are available on the day. We waited for our time slot and were escorted through by a very strewn security guard, we milled about the first room to sure what to do, there is little direction and she does not speak. It seemed to take ages before the film started in the second part of the room. After watching that you begin the descent down metal steps. They say that light levels have to be low to protect the stone, they are too low and dangerous, I manage an exhibition myself and know about light levels, we would never get away with this for health and safety. The group of ten is too big, the people at the back cannot see what's lit and shown in the main display and by the time they can move forward its too dark.

The attraction itself is very interesting but spoiled by poor management and moody unfriendly staff who could do with some customer service training!

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank Debbie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Worth booking in advance.”
Reviewed March 4, 2013

You must book well in advance as the numbers are very limited, but well worth it (We booked November for February 2013). Very well presented and laid out, my wife is disabled and has difficulty walking and stairs but managed without too much trouble. Helpful guidance units and so thought provoking from so long ago and still no real explanations. Overall it was a bit too "Japanese" tourist groupish "follow me and listen to Numer 3!" but stick with it, it is worth it.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank DandGNorfolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Catania, Sicilia, Italy
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Must See - Book in Advance”
Reviewed February 27, 2013

Created by an ancient culture of megalithic temple members that we know virtually nothing about. Estimated to be over 5,000 years old, there is nothing like this anywhere else on earth. Imagine stonehenge underground, not "built" but instead carved out of the rock with bone and stone by firelight, surrounded by the remains of all your ancestors. Truly a fascinating, mysterious, and eerie site. A little difficult to find as the entrance is totally non-descript. Fee was modest. They are going to great pains to preserve this historical treasure and light, climate, group sizes are all strictly limited. No photography allowed. Due to the nature of the site, it is unfortunately not accessible to those with impaired mobility, would not recommend to claustrophobics either.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Joseph T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlon
Level 6 Contributor
231 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“A must do when in Malta”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

This is an extraordinary place and a very rare sight indeed. A prehistoric necropolis as fascinating as the pyramids. All of it deep underground and built thousand of years ago with skill and creativity at their best. Protected as a Unesco World Heritage. You are left with a sense of awe and mystery as we will never really know so many of the details and how things really happened all those millenia ago. An audio guide and clever lighting helps you appreciate the details and speculation about the way it was used.
Nearby ( 5 mn walk ) are some temples that have some clear resemblance in structure so they add to the mystery of the connection.

You are given almost private tours as only 10 people per hour are allowed in to preserve the site. So it needs to be booked well in advance ( on line ) , but the concierge at the top hotels can help.
It is a bit hard to find so allow time for that and get clear instructions. If taking the tour bus make sure you get off at the right spot - it says Taxien but it is actually Paola. they look a bit apart on the map but are side by side.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Viviane H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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