Naxxar has something of historical, archaeological and cultural interest from each period in Malta's past. It has always been one of the main villages on the Islands and has played a role in major events in the Islands' history, from the arrival of Christianity to the defeat of the Ottoman Turks during the Great Siege of 1565. The British period also left its mark: Naxxar lies along The Victoria Lines, British fortifications built on the Great Fault. The town's name may derive from Arabic meaning a divide or cut, which would describe its geographic location.
It may also derive from `nasra', meaning Christianity. St Paul is said to have preached here after his shipwreck on the islands in AD 60. Naxxar's Latin motto translates as `first to believe'. Highlights in Naxxar are the Parish Church of Our Lady, one of the tallest baroque edifices on Malta, the church museum of processional statues, the town's many windmills, two round fortified towers, street niches, and the lavish Palazzo Parisio. Built by a 19th century Maltese entrepreneur, Palazzo Parisio is a stately home unique in Malta. Its magnificent interior and baroque gardens have been described as a miniature Versailles. The Palazzo has been carefully restored and is open to the public.