Zebbug or Città Rohan is one of the oldest towns in Malta with a population of around 13,000 people. The Parish Church is dedicated to St. Philip, whose feast is on the 12th of May, but in the village it is celebrated on the second Sunday of June. The word Zebbug means olives in Maltese, and so, the town gets its name from the large olive groves that use to stand around the current location of the town centre. Haz-Zebbug was given the title of Città Rohan by Grandmaster Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in 1777. On such occasions, the locals used to build a gate to serve as an entrance to the city, and the people of Haz-Zebbug did the same. The gateway still stands today.
When Malta was under the Knights, Zebbuġ was a key town; both because of prime corsairs who lived here and also because of the thriving cotton industry. The splendour of St. Philip's Church is the prime evidence of importance of Zebbuġ in the Maltese history. There were some prehistoric remains found in Haz-Zebbug, such as pottery and tombs in the area known as Ta' Trapna. Punic and Phoenician tombs and a number of cart ruts were also found around the town.
Things to see and do:
The City gate: Built in the 18th century, this beautiful gate served as the entrance to the city.
Visit the parish church: The parish church dedicated to St. Philip is a museum of architecture, art and sculpture. The current parish church was built in the late seventeenth century. It was designed by Tumas Dingli and boasts an impressive titular painting by Luca Garnier and two superb murals by Francesco Zahra. The church also treasures other artefacts attributed to Guido Reni and Antonio Sciortino. The statue of St. Philip was created by Luigi Fontana in 1864 and is considered to be one of the greatest in Malta.
Go to the festa: The festa is also dedicated to St. Philip, and is celebrated in the second week of June. It offers spectacular aerial and ground fireworks, as well as a procession with the statue and brass bands playing cheerful marches.
Bus number 61 from Valletta