Saint Lawrence (Maltese: San Lawrenz) is a village on the Isle of Gozo, Malta. Its name is derived from Lawrence of Rome who is the patron saint for the village. The natural reserve Fungus Rock is administratively part of the town, as is the famous Azure Window landmark.
It is built on a plain surrounded by three hills, Għammar, Gelmus and Ta' Dbieġi. The last mentioned, Ta' Dbieġi, rises 195 metres above sea level and is Gozo's highest point. In the limits of San Lawrenz there is also the splendid bay of Dwejra, renowned for its strange geological faults and admired by tourists and locals alike.
This picturesque village has succeeded in retaining its traditional and rural lifestyle. It has managed to open up to progress without sacrificing its natural beauty and those values and traditions, which form the identity of this charming village.
San Lawrenz is one of the two Gozitan localities that have taken their name from that of their patron saint. The other is the nearby hamlet of Santa Luċija, Gozo. San Lawrenz was established a parish on 15 March 1893. Before this date, the area was known as Ta' Ċangura. Most probably the site derived its name from a local family name or nickname. The date of origin of this area is not known. However the name Ta' Ċangura can be dated back to before the tragic Siege of Gozo, that is, before July 1551.
Until San Lawrenz was declared a parish in 1893, it formed part of the neighbourhood of Għarb. However as time went by the people of San Lawrenz started to form a separate community and as a result they wanted their own church. The foundation stone for this new church was laid and consecrated by the Bishop Peter Pace on 21 November 1886. The relic of Saint Lawrence was placed under this stone. Every villager participated with great enthusiasm in the building of the church.
The village feast of San Lawrenz is celebrated each year, unimaginatively in the warmest part of the Summer, namely around the first week of August.
There is one restaurant, the village shop and the local bar (run by the local football club to raise funds).
With a population of just 760 people (as of March 2013), it is the second least populated village on Gozo and third least in all of the Maltese Islands. The village's football team is called St. Lawrence Spurs.
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