Gozo island, also called 'Ghawdex' in Maltese, is the second largest island of the Maltese archipelago. Despite its close proximity and obvious links with Malta, the island bears many dissimilarities, making it rather unique.
Gozo is fondly referred to as ‘the island where time stood still’ as one can still witness many habits and traditions from centuries ago which are still practiced by the locals to this very day.
The island of Gozo has long been associated with Ogygia, the island home of the nymph Calypso in Homer's Odyssey. In that story, Calypso, possessed of great supernatural powers, and in love with Odysseus, holds him captive for a number of years, until finally releasing him to continue his journey home.
Gozo has been inhabited since 5000 BC, when farmers from nearby Sicily crossed the sea to the island. Gozo was an important place for cultural evolution, and during the neolithic period the Ġgantija temples were built; they are among the world's oldest free-standing structures, as well as the world's oldest religious structures.
The history of Gozo is strongly coupled with the history of Malta, since Gozo has been governed by Malta throughout history, with the brief exception of a short period of autonomy following the uprising against the French forces after Napoleon's conquest of Malta, between 28 October 1798 and 20 August 1801.