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Mellieħa is a large village or small town in the Northern Region of Malta. It has a population of 10 100. Mellieħa is also a tourist resort, popular for its sandy beaches and natural environment and a destination during the summer months. It is well-known for its beaches such as Għadira and Golden Bays. The town overlooks Mellieħa Bay, which includes Għadira Bay, the largest sandy beach in Malta. Ċirkewwa is also popular as a dive site, and it includes the wrecks of the MV Rozi and a P29 patrol boat.
The name Mellieħa is derived from the word salt, referring to the ancient Punic-Roman salt pans which existed here. The site of the salt pans is now occupied by the Għadira Nature Reserve.
Mellieħa was first inhabited in around 3000 BC, during the Neolithic period. Several megalithic remains have been found, including the temple of Għajn Żejtuna, as well as several caves and tombs, in which tools and pottery fragments were found.
During the Roman period, troglodytes began to live in the caves of Mellieħa’s valleys. The cave settlements continued to exist during Byzantine rule, but were abandoned in the early medieval period.
According to history, St. Luke came across one of Mellieħa’s caves and painted the figure of Our Lady on the rock face. In 409 AD, the cave was consecrated as a church, and it is now known as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieħa.
The first fortification to be built in Mellieħa was Saint Agatha’s Tower, which was completed in 1649. The smaller Għajn Ħadid Tower and Armier Tower were also built in the limits. Just before World War II, Fort Campbell was built in Selmun, while Mellieħa Fort was built on top of Mellieħa Hill as a lookout post.