5 churches in Valletta
Some more known than the others
Malta’s capital city is filled with churches, serving different religions and beliefs. To be honest, it feels like every other street has a church, one bigger than the other. Below I have listed 5 churches in Valletta and added pictures as well as some history about every one of them. And yes, the pictures are only from outside the churches. But let’s be real; you don’t want someone to spoil a movie if you actually want to watch it, so why would I show you the treasures hiding inside of the churches? You got to see them for yourself.
1. St. Augustine Church
This is one of the churches that were built during the creation of the new city of Valletta. It was first built in 1571, but in 1765 it was rebuilt according to a plan of Giuseppe Bonnici.
Inside the church, you can still find artifacts remaining from the original building. Even though the church offers beautiful art on the inside, it is most renowned for the statue of St. Rita.
2. Franciscan Church of St. Mary of Jesus
Back in 1571, the Friars Minor (a religious order) were granted a piece of land in Valletta on which to build a church. The work started slowly afterward by the plan of Girolamo Cassar. In 1680 the church’s façade was replaced.
The main attraction in this church is the impressive ‘Miraculous Crucifix’ by Umile Pintorno, made around 1630.
3. Basilica of St. Dominic
The land upon which this church is built was given to the Dominican Order by Grand Master Pierre de Monte and the church’s first stone was laid on the 19th of April 1571.
The church is also known by the name ‘Basilica of Our Lady of Safe Haven & St. Dominic since it’s dedicated to Our Lady of Safe Haven. The dedication is based on the fact that a great number of sailors used to visit the church in order to thank the Mother of God for their safe return to harbor after long and dangerous sea voyages.
On the 24th of July 1780, the church was declared unsafe as a consequence of earthquakes and storms and was therefore closed. In the early 1800s, a new church was built on the same spot and was opened on the 15th of May 1815.
4. Church of Our Lady of Damascus
The original Church of Our Lady of Damascus was built in 1580. During World War II, more specifically on the 24th of March 1942, the church suffered some major bombing and was completely destroyed. The church was reconstructed and rebuilt on the 15th of August 1951.
Many of these Churches have much and colorful darker tales. If you curious to know more about some of these Churches check out our “Corsairs of Malta” Tours
5. Church of St. Catherine of Italy
This Catholic Church was built in 1576 by the Italian Knights of the Order of St. John to serve as their church. In the 17th century, the church was enlarged with an octagonal church added to the chapel. Between 2001 and 2011 the church had a major restoration.
Article and photography by our young corsair in the making Robin Sjölund. Traveling all the way from Finland, Robin has joined our Motley crew during his stay in Malta with a dedication and passion for discovery worthy of any Corsair!