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Towns and areas in Malta

Ħal Kirkop (Kirkop)

Ħal Kirkop is a small village in the south of Malta. It is found near the Malta International Airport and has a rich history, that of even Punic times. The parish church is dedicated to St. Leonard. Apart from the feast of St. Leonard, a secondary feast of St. Joseph is celebrated in summer. The village football team, Kirkop United F.C., currently plays in Division 2 of the Malta Football Association competitions.

The name of the village is derived from an ancient family name that had roots within the area. The village name was known as 'Casal Prokopju' and this name is found in old registers of the militia that existed prior to the coming of the Knights of Malta. It is traditionally known that the name described the place where this family lived. After a while the official name became 'Kirkop' by the local people. Kirkop has been a village before the 1000s and a parish before the 1600s. Punic remains of catacombs are dotted all around the village, and most of them remain undiscovered, but plans state that they will be explored in the future.

In 1969 the anthropologist Jeremy Boissevain published his research on the social fabric of this village in his book Hal Farrug: a village in Malta. The book was republished in 1980 and re-issued under a new title, Ħal Kirkop: A village in Malta, in 2006. In his book, Boissevain identified Ħal Kirkop people whose families had lived in the area for centuries as having the most striking traces of the ancient Phoenician bloodline. The Phoenicians were ancient marauders who had occupied the Maltese islands around 700 B.C. Punic remains of catacombs are dotted all around the village, and most of them remain undiscovered, but plans state that they will be explored in the future. Kirkop was part of a larger community called 'Bir Miftuh' in Middle Ages when on 29 May 1592 it was declared a parish on its own right

The village has a population of 2,260 people as of March 2011. By March 2013 this decreased slightly to 2,173 people. It is home of the STMicroelectronics plant, whose production accounts for 60% of the exports in Malta.

In Kirkop, one finds the Menhir monolith (which has become the symbol of the village), Paleo-Christian Catacombs, the medieval Church of the Annunciation, the Parish Church dedicated to St. Leonard, two band clubs (St. Leonard Band Club and St. Joseph Band Club), and the cemetery inside which there is a chapel dedicated to St. Nicholas.

A cross placed on column is found in Kirkop Square and it is called "Is-Salib tad-Dejma" in Maltese. There is also a quite interesting collection of niches scattered around the village.

Kirkop is also becoming famous and well sought for 'Faux Farming'. Many wealthy and middle-class families are becoming increasing interested in taking up summer residences and buying parcels of land to develop for recreational agriculture activities and outdoor entertaining, mostly due to the relatively low price of land in the south of Malta. (Wiki)
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