Annunciation & St. John The Evangelist, Ħal Millieri

Annunciation & St. John The Evangelist, Ħal Millieri

The old village of Casal Millieri lies between Żurrieq, Qrendi, Mqabba and Kirkop. This village was first documented in 1419 but dates back to the Roman era or before. The name Millieri is derived from Camillieri, meaning camel herders, suggesting that camels may have been bred in Ħal Millieri. Camilleri is a very common family name in Żurrieq.

The Church of the Annunciation was consecrated in around 1480 on the site of an earlier medieval church built in the 13th century. Next to the church there are excavations suggesting that another church stood adjacent to the Church of the Annunciation, probably dedicated to the Visitation of Mary to Elisabeth.

The frescos in the Church of the Annunciation and their inscriptions suggest that they are from the 15th century. The fresco depictions are of Saints Nicholas, Andrew, James the Elder, Lawrence, Vincent, John, Paul, Augustine, Blaise, Agatha and Leonard. St George appears twice riding a horse and slaying a dragon.

There were two other churches, one dedicated to the Apparition of St. Michael on Mount Gargano (which is no longer there) and the one of St. John the Evangelist.

Little is known about the original church of St John. It existed in the 15th century but in 1575, following Dusina’s visit, it was deconsecrated and was reconstructed in the 17th century.

Giving our back to the Church of Saint John the Evangelist, we walk through Triq il-Marsa, a country lane between fields, to Triq il-Belt Valletta leading into Żurrieq. At the entrance of Żurrieq, we walk past the towering statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel into Triq Santa Katerina to the Parish Church of Żurrieq dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria.