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Qala is a village on the island of Gozo, Malta, with a population of 2,284 as of March 2014. Nearby is Ħondoq ir-Rummien, a coastline with salt pans and caves popular with snorkellers and divers.About the TownQala is first referred to in a fifteenth-century portolan preserved at the Vatican Library. It has taken its name from the qala or port of Ħondoq ir-Rummien. It is the easternmost village of Gozo and has been inhabited since early times. The development of the present settlement began in the second half of the seventeenth century. It is a pleasant and rural place with many natural and historic attractions.Though Qala is the farthest village from Gozo's capital, Victoria, it is the closest to the rest of the Maltese archipelago, and the rocky hillsides of Qala enjoy an unobstructed view of the islands of Malta and Comino. The aforementioned islands can be clearly seen from Qala Belvedere and from the small courtyard in front of the church known as Il-Madonna tal-Blat (Our Lady of the Rocks). This church faces Comino and legend has it that it was built so that the people of that island could follow Holy Mass from across the straits when rough weather precluded a priest from crossing there.Except for a few sheltered inlets, like the popular Ħondoq ir-Rummien, Qala's coastline is largely rugged. Among the many sea caves found along the coast is Għar Minka, which is accessible only by boat.Qala is located at the easternmost point of Gozo, and is the village furthest from the capital Victoria. Its name is both Arabic and Maltese for sheltered haven or bay, and this is reflected in its coat of arms - a Gozo boat sailing on rough seas. The village parish church is dedicated to Saint Joseph, and was built by Dun Guzepp Diacono, between 1882 and 1889. Its style is baroque as in many other churches on the island. Qala became a parish on 3 February 1872, and until 1889 the parish church was that of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. The foundation stone of the parish of Saint Joseph was laid on 19 March 1882 and the church consecrated on 8 May 1904.Plan how to spend your time in Qala and other destinations in Malta using our Malta trip planner.
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