The town of Żebbuġ is also known as Città Rohan; given this title by Grandmaster Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in the late 1700’s. An arched gateway was constructed in relation to this city status and still stands there today. The name Żebbuġ means ‘olives’ in Maltese and is one of the oldest towns in Malta. The town gets its name from the large olive groves that used to occupy the area that is now the town centre.
The majestic parish church is dedicated to St. Philip of Agira and although the actual feast day of this Saint is on May 12th, the Maltese celebrate this on the second Sunday in June. Zebbug is also well-known for having one of the best Good Friday processions on the islands.
During the time of the Knights of the Order of St John, Zebbuġ had a thriving cotton industry and some of the main Corsairs lived there, making this one of the important towns in Malta after Valletta and Mdina. Prehistoric remains have also been found here, such as pottery and tombs in the area known as Ta’ Trapna. Punic and Phoenician tombs and a number of cart ruts were also found around the town.