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The town of Marsa, situated around the innermost creek of Grand Harbour, is the nerve centre of Malta's engineering and transportation activities Here are to be found the Malta Shipbuilding Yard and a flourishing industrial estate. The Malta Drydocks, which occupies two harbour creeks on the Cottonera side, is to be considered within the ambit of this important industrial region around Grand Harbour.

Marsa also has a Sports Centre, with its spacious Marsa Sports Complex which includes a modern horse-racing course, the Marsa Sports Club and the National Athletic Stadium.

The combined townships of Tarxien and Paola are a short distance away from Marsa. These are essentially residential towns; but they also house busy commercial outlets as well as engineering and industrial enterprises.

Tarxien and Paola, however, are more renowned for the unique archaeological sites within their confines, viz: The Tarxien Neolithic Temples and the Hypogeum. These exceptional monuments testify to Malta's prehistoric civilisation.

The position of the two sites so near to each other, leads one to deduce that the Tarxien/Paola territory must have been a dwelling place, and an active cultural and religious centre during the Neolithic period. Unfortunately, the whole area is now built on, and further excavations and archaeological ventures are no longer feasible.

The Hypogeum was primarily an underground cemetery. It seems that the burial tradition in the locality has been maintained to this day, as evinced by the three burial grounds in the vicinity, viz: The Addolorata Catholic Cemetery and the neighbouring Moslem and Jewish Cemeteries.

Text courtesy of the National Tourism Organisation - Malta.