churches in malta you have to visit
A few of the island’s top churches you should be fitting into your schedule
Many churches in Malta dominate the skyline, with domes and steeples visible from across the island. Did you know that in Malta and Gozo, which are two separate dioceses, there are a total of 359 churches (almost one for every day of the year)?
The Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, commonly known as the Mosta Dome, is a Roman Catholic parish church in Mosta. Built between 1833 and 1860, the dome was designed by architect Giorgio Grognet de Vasse, inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. 37m in diameter, it is considered to be one of the largest in Europe, and ranks ninth among the largest unsupported domes of the world. During WWII, a 200kg German aerial bomb pierced through the dome and fell into the church during mass but did not explode – which was interpreted by the Maltese as a miracle.
TA' PINU BASILICA
Located in Għarb, Gozo, the church is known for its annexed museum, recording hundreds of stories of alleged miracles. The origins are unknown, but the chapel was first recorded in the archives of the Curia in Gozo, which noted that the chapel belonged to the noble family ‘The Gentile’. In 1598, Pinu Gauci became the procurator of the church, which is where it got its name. Ta’ Pinu Basilica was built between 1922 and 1932, in a neo-romantic style. The interior boasts six mosaics and several coloured windows and the steeple is 61 metres high!
St. Paul’s Cathedral
The Cathedral, designed by Lorenzo Gafa, is a 17th century masterpiece, located in the heart of Mdina. According to tradition, it was built on the area where Saint Paul converted the Roman governor Publius, to Christianity. Prior to the Cathedral, there was a small church, dating back to the 4th century, which was destroyed in an earthquake in 1693. The original 900-year old door currently serves as the door leading to the Sacristy of the Cathedral. Works by Mattia Preti, amongst others, can be found inside.
st. john's co-cathedral
The architectural jewel of Valletta, St. John’s Co-Cathedral, encompasses a display of complex architecture and artistic talent. The Cathedral was finished in 1577, with the original purpose being as a conventual church for the Knights of St. John. Many sons of Europe’s noble families from the 16th to the 18th centuries, as well as the founder of Valletta, Jean Parisot De La Vallette, lie buried in the tombstones of the Cathedral. Also featured in the building is The Beheading Of St. John, Caravaggio’s only signed painting.