History

 
The history of Zebbug goes back to 1282 when the community was already forming and perhaps had already built a chapel. During the years various chapels were built, the last one being on the 28th April 1688 when Zebbug was declared a parish through a decree by Bishop David Cocco Palmieri. The date when the parish was decreed is now commemorated as the official date of the locality of Zebbug.
 
The year was 1692 when a new church began to be built. It was blessed on the 30th September 1736. The titular painting is the work of Dun Franġisk De Dominicis and the titular statue was commissioned in 1863 in Marseilles. In 1936 the church began to be enlarged, and though the war broke out work continued and was finished in 1942. A benefactor who paid for the enlargement of the church was Mons. Dun Franġisk Saliba. The onice marble which stands out at the altar table is a type of alabaster found only in the Zebbug area.
 
Another typical product from Zebbug is the Ghazziela. This is a piece of dough in a form of an ‘M’ for ‘Marija’ which, after being baked and blessed is hung behind doors to keep away storms and natural disasters.
 
As regards places of interest in Zebbug one finds the convent of the Missionary Society of St Paul. The members of the Society built this house in 1974 and has been going on with their pastoral work.
 
In the same village we find also the Parish centre at the main square. This centre caters for various needs, amongst which it serves as a meeting place for various religious groups. In this village there is also the centre for the Society of Catholic Doctrine (Museum)
 
The football team of Żebbuġ Rovers competes in the Gozitan first division.
 
As other villages in Gozo, agriculture was the main source of living for families from Żebbug. The main crops of every year were barley and wheat. Cotton was also an important crop and in Żebbuġ there was a loom in every house. Woolen blankets woven in Żebbuġ together with fine lace were in great demand. When the need for cotton dropped, vines began to be planted for wine making. Other crops were harvested from fields from Zebbug.
 
With a population of around 2,000, including the sea resort of Marsalforn, Żebbuġ has its own Local Council, elected for the first time in 1994 with Michael Cefai as its first Mayor.
 
Marsalforn
Marsalforn is one of the most popular bays in the Maltese islands. It is also most popular with Gozitan fishermen. Marsalforn is shadowed by the hill of Żebbuġ. As a bay Marsalforn can be reached from Żebbuġ, as well as from Rabat and Xagħra. The name Marsalforn may be derived from two words: “Marsa”, an Arabic word definitely meaning harbour. The other word may be derived from lifurna meaning a type of sea craft. One may say that Marsalforn means a harbour for such types of ships.
 
Marsalforn is a place surrounded with many hiils, amongst which there is Żebbuġ, id-Dabrani, Ta’ Kuljat, Il-Merżuq, Il-Qolla l-Bajda, Il-Qolla s-Safra, Il-Qolla l-Ħamra u x-Xagħra. On reaching Marsalforn from Għajn Mhelhel one arrives at the quite bay of Xwejni. The dominant features are the rocks in this bay, and further inside the inlet there are salt pans where salt is produced through a natural process.
 
 History
 
Marsalforn was for many centuries the most popular harbour in Gozo. From Roman times it served as a bridge between Gozo and the rest of the world. Imports from Sicily were unloaded in Marsalforn Harbour.
The Church
Marsalforn also has its own place of worship which is dedicated to St Paul’s Shipwreck. The present church was blessed in 1939. The popular feast commemorating St Paul’s conversion is celebrated on January 25th.
 
 Other places of interest in Marsalforn include Merżuq Hill were a cross was posted in 1901, and a fiberglass-cement statue was placed instead in 1973. One can visit the various surrounding bays of Għar Qawqla, Santa Marija, il-Qbajjar and Ix-Xwejni, together with the nearby salt-pans and il-Qolla l-Bajda Fort built during1716, presently known as Qbajjar Tower.
 
The Economy
Marsalforn’s economy may be divided into two. Fishing was in the past the occupation. Presently the place has developed into a tourist resort with many amenities.