Sannat or more precisely Ta’ Sannat, lies to the south of the island of Gozo.
The name is probably derived from that of an Arabic-Greek family that moved to Gozo from Sicily.
At Ta’ Cenc, within the limits of ta’ Sannat, there is L-Imramma Temple, a primitive type prehistoric temple made up of a sort of an oval court with a series of more or less oval rooms to the north. Other interesting remains are three dolmens, a horizontal, roughly shaped, slab of limestone supported on three sides by blocks of stone standing on end. Ta’ Cenc is also famous for its spectacular precipices or cliffs, that are the natural home of several wildlife species, both flora and fauna. Lying low by Ta’ Cenc, one could admire the natural beauty of Hanzira valley, a natural gorge separating Sannat from the village of Xewkija. The valley, due to its steep rocky sides, has little signs of human interference and leads down to Mgarr ix-Xini Bay to the South of Gozo. The pebbly beach of this bay is not as popular with swimmers as it is with divers. In fact Mgarr ix-Xini is one of Gozo’s best places for diving and the wreck of the once Malta-Gozo ferryboat Xlendi rests on the seabed, a few hundred metres away from the bay’s outer stretches.
Sannat was one of the first places in Gozo to become a separate parish. Bishop Davide Cocco-Palmieri established the parish of Sannat on 28 April 1688. The present church dedicated to St. Margaret Martyr was initiated on the site of a smaller one in 1718 and was consecrated on 16 October 1755. However, after the significant structural changes, it was consecrated again on 22 November 1868. It
was raised to the Archipresbyteral status on 27 December 1893. The church has a very good altarpiece by Stefano Erardi, a famed local painter. The village feast of St. Margaret is celebrated each year around the third week of July.
The archaeological remains one finds at Ta’ Sannat are mostly, and almost uniquely, remains of the prehistoric period and these are all concentrated at Ta’ Ċenċ in the limits of the same village.
The oldest among these remains are those of that which is known as Tal-Imramma Temples. These remains, which towards the beginning of the 20th century have been investigated and studied by the Jesuit scholar Fr. Manwel Magri S.J. and also by the German scholar Albrecht Mayr, date back to the prehistoric phase known as Mġarr phase (3800-3600 B.C.). These remains, which include also a menhir (a monument-like vertical stone), belong to a structure
which may have been a temple as its name does indicate. The plan of this structure is very irregular and is uncommon.
Two other archaeological monuments which are also very important at Ta’ Ċenċ are the two dolmens, one known as Id-Dura tax-Xaghra l-Kbira and the other known as Id-Dura tal-Mara. These are very likely to be two funerary structures, i.e. they were probably used for burial purposes. They consist of three vertical stones on which rests a horizontal slab. The archaeologist Dr David Trump also discovered remains of what he identified as a gallery grave which looks like an elongated dolmen.
These dolmens, of which there were previously more at Ta’ Ċenċ but which, unfortunately, did not survive, are not as old as the remains of Tal-Imramma Temple. They belong, in fact, to the Bronze Age (2500-700 B.C.) and date back to the prehistoric phase known as Tarxien Cemetery phase (2500-1500 B.C.).
In various locations at Ta’ Ċenċ, one also encounters various pairs of cart-ruts, sometimes even intersecting each other. Their nature is difficult to determine but, normally, both at Ta’ Ċenċ and even in other places in Malta and Gozo where they are to be found, they are always associated with stone / rock quarrying.
Their dating is also very difficult. They can possibly date back to the Bronze Age, although the possibility of having remained in use even during the Classical (i.e. Punic and/or Roman) period is not excluded.
Sannat info – Emblem (The coat of arms consists of a standing bale of wheat with two scythes above it)
The coat of arms of Sannat was designed for the occasion of the visit of the Prince of Wales which occurred between the 6th and the 10th of April, 1876. It was designed and painted by professor Nikolo’ Zammit (1815-1899), who was a doctor, philosopher, architect and painter. This coat of arms consists of a standing bale of wheat with
two scythes above it. Zammit was apparently implying that in the past, a lot of wheat used to be grown in Sannat.
The motto of Sannat was most probably written by the Gozitan scholar Lorenzo Zammit Haber (1876-1959). This motto says:
“Labor Ante Omnia”
“Work before everything”