Look around Malta and you’ll notice Churches in Malta dominate most of the skyline. Perhaps that is what made them the unfortunate targets to aerial bombardments during the Second World War!
With a total of 350 churches for an island that is so small, that’s quite an impressive number! Every town or village has at least have one. Without further ado here are the top 5 Churches in Malta
This church is what makes the Valletta skyline even more fantastic and glorious with its 42-meter dome. It was built around 1570 by Giralomo Cassar. The façade was later redesigned in 1852 by Guiseppe Bonvia.
Damaged during the Second World War it was later rebuilt and is worth visiting!
2. Churches in Malta: St Paul’s Cathedral-Imdina
This giant building dominates the square of the silent city. It wasn’t always so silent as this awesome church (which was originally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary) was demolished by an earthquake!
It was rebuilt and designed by Gafa. Considered as his masterpiece, the cathedral is dedicated to St. Paul.
3. The Basilica of the Nativity of The Virgin Mary- Isla
This Roman Catholic Church located in Sengela known as the “Bambina” by the locals was built in 1580 as a monument of the victory after the great siege in 1565. Senglea saw some of the bloodiest fightings throughout the siege.
It became a parish church in 1581 and in 1921, Pope Benedict XV honored the church with the title of Basilica. After the crowning of the statue of the Virgin Mary on 4 September 1921, the church became a sanctuary of the Virgin Mary.
Again, like most churches, it was destroyed by the Second World War and was later rebuilt 1956.
4. Parish Church of the Assumption (Mosta Rotunda) – Mosta
A must see in our list of churches in Malta! This church has to be one of the most stunning sights in Mosta. Known as the “Rotunda” it was built between 1833 and the 1860s to neoclassical designs of Giorgio Grognet de Vassé, on the site of an earlier Renaissance church which had been built in around 1614 to designs of Tommaso Dingli.
The church was also targeted during World War II, But with a twist!
On 9 April 1942, a German aerial bomb pierced the dome and fell into the church with people inside during Mass. Can you imagine the poor locals’ faces hearing mass?
Here’s the twist… the Bomb failed to explode! A miracle or luck? This event was interpreted by the Maltese as a miracle, no doubt by the same people inside.
If you want the see bomb, it’s in the church to this very day!
5. St John’s Co-Cathedral-Valletta
Last one in our list of the churches in Malta. This church is in a league of its own! The crème de la crème. If you’re in Valletta, at all costs don’t miss out on this finest piece of Baroque architecture.
It was built by the Order of St. John between 1572-1577 for themselves (so you can imagine the troubles and finances to make it the best! )
It was designed by Giralomo Cassar who designed other beautiful buildings in Valetta. In the 17th century, its interior was redecorated in the Baroque style by Mattia Preti and other artists. While in there, make sure you take a look at the famous painting of St. John’s Beheading.
As a young local, I always wondered where did the all the funds for so many churches come from…
Well, it’s much more interesting than you would have imagined! So, if you want to learn more where these funds came from whilst in Valletta, be sure to check our Corsairs of Malta walking guided tours and find out click HERE.
HINT HINT the title of the tour is the clue 😉