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Marsaxlokk is a small, traditional fishing village in the South Eastern Region of Malta. It has a harbour, and is a tourist attraction known for its views, fishermen and history. It has a population of 3600. The name Marsaxlokk comes from the Arabic word marsa, which means port and xlokk, which is the Maltese word for south-east.
The village is also known for the Marsaxlokk Market, which is mainly a large fish market which takes place along the seafront on Sundays, and a tourist market during all other days of the week. Inhabited and well-known since antiquity, Marsaxlokk was used as a port by Phoenicians, Carthaginians and there are also the remains of a Roman-era harbour. Traditional boats called luzzi and other larger and more modern vessels line the sheltered inner harbour. Most of Malta’s fish supplies are caught by fishermen coming from this port as about 70% of the Maltese fishing fleet is based here. The village is also popular among locals and tourists alike for its walks around the coast and harbour, its restaurants, as well as for its swimming zones. Marsaxlokk Bay also includes a container freeport towards Birżebbuġa, a power station complex towards Delimara. Marsaxlokk is sometimes referred to as Portus Herculis, due to the association of Marsaxlokk Bay with the Roman and Punic remains at Tas-Silġ.
To the north-east of the village, on the rounded hilltop of Tas-Silġ, there is a multi-period sanctuary site covering all eras from the Neolithic to the fourth century AD. The Tas-Silġ site includes megalithic remains, scattered edifices belonging to three distinct temples. The whole harbour area was systematically fortified over successive centuries, with towers, batteries and fortresses ringing Marsaxlokk bay. The most prominent fortification of this chain, Fort San Lucian, was built by 1611. Around 1846, the first houses began to be built in Marsaxlokk. The feast of our lady is held on the last Sunday of July.
In recent years, Marsaxlokk also developed as a modern seaside resort. The village includes a natural park at Xrobb l-Għaġin.