Find the details of the ride on my Strava account 🙂

Today was one of the rare days that there were tick clouds above Malta, so it is needless to say that I gratefully seized that opportunity to make a nice cycle ride. I had planned this route a couple of weeks ago, and I included Popeyes Village and the 19th century Fort Binġemma of the British Victoria Line, so I was sure that there would be a couple of interesting ‘roadside histories’ to discover.

Yet it was none of these planned sites that made it to today’s episode of Roadside History, because I found some really interesting troglodyte settlement in Binġemma.

Look carefully to discover the numerous cave entrances

While cycling very slowly uphill towards a tiny chapel on’ the side of the road in Binġemma, my eye caught some remarkably square cave-entrances on the other side of the valley.

I did a little exploration session, which was quite a challenging task on my cycling shoes because they have no grip at all. I had to remove the shoes when I wanted to climb into the caves, but I’m glad I did, because the caves were very cool from the inside! (Video at the bottom of the post)

Interesting small niches inside the cave… wondering what the purpose could’ve been

There is not much known about these caves, some argue the caves are dwellings from the Bronze Age, while others think they are a Punico-Roman necropolis or a first-century Greek cemetery.

Even though the story of the original purpose of these caves is a bit fuzzy, there is another historical purpose that they served that is much better know. During the Second World War, these caves (like many other caves all around the island) were used as shelter places for locals against enemy bombings.

It’s too bad that there is so little known about these caves, because they seem pretty cool to me. Some of the caves have two or even three rooms behind each other and they go pretty deep into the hillside.

The lack of interest is probably due to the fact that Malta already has an incredible amount of pre-historical sites that they have to take care of. But that does not mean that there is absolutely no interest in these amazing caves at all, because all the discarded beer bottles and disposable barbecues show that it’s a popular spot for parties 🙂