MOSTA CHURCH DOME
This is the most remarkable church in MALTA due to its Dome. It is reputed to be the fourth largest unsupported dome in the world.This church is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and was designed bt George Grognet De Vasse.His plan was closely based on that of the Pantheon in Rome.The foundation stone was laid on May 30 1833 and the church took 27years to complete....it is a fact that during the second world war during an air raid the Luftwaffe dropped a huge bomb on this church penetrating the dome and landing in the middle of the church while a mass was in session with lots of people inside......nothing short of a miracle as the bomb didint go off......a replica of this bomb can still be seen inside the church.
When we Maltese do a Fiesta...we do a real one with no expence spared...i mean thousands of Euros are spent on fireworks in one village fiesta alone which is given generously and voluntarily by its parishers.
Its mostly a religious feast with events held inside the churches themselves but then most of the feast takes place on the outside as well through the main streets of the village or town itself.Band marches all day...confetti...youths and parishers celebrate and sing all the way in front of the band and make merry and chanting their patron saint anthem followed by fireworks display all day.
The Maltese are in the majority roman catholics and on Good Friday they have a fully fledged procession complete with all statues representing every stage that Jesus went through on his way to the cross.
This procession is very well organised in various towns all over the Island of Malta and Gozo.
This procession on Good Friday is a "must see" for those visitors who are in Malta in the month of March. I have never seen any thing like it in its scale any where else in the world....there is every detail complete with real roman soldiers,captains,shepards,lambs,Barabas,Pilatus and a big number of men dressed all in white robes with head covered carrying large chains attached to their feet which they have to drag through the streets of their village as a sign of repentance.
Its an experience to watch and i feel also honoured to take part in carrying one of the stage statues of the flogging..............maybe its my ticket to heaven!!
Easter Sunday is celebrated all over most Towns and villages of Malta parading the Statue of Jesus Christ through the streets accompanied by the local brass band. Its a festive and joyous celebration with small chidren getting their "Figolla" which is a traditional pastry with colourfull icing depicting a form either of an Easter Bunny or any other shape especially made mostly by their own mothers or Nanna's.....when i was young i always nibbled half of it some days before Easter Sunday came.....so you can imagine which shape my easter rabbit "Figola" looked like in Easter!!
Tradition is still rife in Malta & on the sister Island of Gozo. Farmers still till their land with Mules or take their produce with horse drawn carts.Once in Malta especially in Valletta or Mdina take a ride on the horse drawn carraige"KARROZIN"
Malta has left-hand drive, Arriva buses, red post and telephone boxes, Marks and Spencers and British Home Stores, and shops filled with Bachelors Super Noodles, Walkers Crisps and Cadbury's Dairy Milk. Everyone speaks perfect English. Sometimes it feels more British than Britain, except for the weather.
The sea that surround our Island of Malta is one of the routes that the LAMPUKA fish takes seasonally and now is also being fished by our neighbours the sicilians.
Fish farms are also sprouting on the coasts around Malta.
These colourful Maltese boats are referred to as dghajjas were largely used to ferry passengers, especially sailors, from their ships to land, and vice versa. More recently, they are used for fishing. Like the Maltese cross, they are a symbol of Malta.
The boats, painted in the traditional colors or blue, yellow and red have the eye of Osiris painted or carved on the bow. This symbol is said to have been brought to Malta by the Phoenicians. This seems to suggest that craft of this type must have been common in the harbour since the time of the Phoenicians and Carthaginians.
This might not be of help for some people, but it might help some!
I think the Maltese government has signed agreements with the Austrian and Italian governments to allow people from outside the EU, USA, Canada, Aus, NZ etc to apply for visas at their embassies where Malta has no embassy or High Commission.
This document explains where to go: