Fungus Rock

Triq il-Gebla tal-Genaral , Dwejra , Gozo

Other

Gozo, situated just under 6 kilometers to the northwest of Malta. It’s the second largest island of the Maltese Archipelago which has quite a number of small uninhabited islets, which one of them is very well known and yet very famous is the Fungus Rock known in Maltese as Il-Gebla tal-General ( The General Rock). Fungus rock lies in the mouth of Dwejra bay or il-qala tad-Dwejra to the west of Gozo and it’s just about 50 meters away from the shore. It has maximum length of about 182 meters and a height of 61 meters and covers an area of 0.7 hectares.

According to the story, the medical qualities of the plant, known in Maltese as Gherq Sinjur or Gherq il-General, that is the rich man’s or the General’s plant, that has been discovered in the 17th century by a General in the Order of the Knights of Saint John. It’s a rare leafless parasite which lives invisibly below ground for most of the year attached to the roots of the Golden Samphire and other plants. It was greatly prized as a cure for haemorrhages and diseases of the blood. Later on it was so sought that the Knights prohibited anyone from picking the stalks without prior permission from the Governor of Gozo. So jealously the Knights guard against poachers that in 1744, after a suggestion by the military engineer Francesco Marandon, the rough sides of the rock were shaved smooth and access from the sea up became almost impossible. Grand Master Pinto decreed the Fungus Rock out of bounds in 1746; trespassers risked a three- year spell as oarsmen in the Knights Galleys.

And nowadays Fungus Rock has become a natural reserve. However, the shoreline nearby is accessible to bathers and provides perfect spot for snorkelling.

For more information on other interesting attractions don’t forget to have a look at our Malta Attraction Map.