The Dome of Mosta's Parish Church (St.Marija Assunta -Assumption of the Virgin Mary) is said to be the 4th largest church dome in Europe.Built from 1833-1871 on the site of a previous church,it was designed by 'Giorgio Grognet',whose plans were closely based on the Pantheon in Rome.
On 9th April 1942,during an afternoon air-raid,a 200kg Luftwaffe bomb pierced the dome (the other two bounced off) and fell amoung a congregation of 300 or more awaiting early evening mass.It did not explode.A replica of the bomb is now on display in the sacristy,where the gift shop is.
Two years after the end of WWII the German pilot who dropped the bomb came to Mosta to apologise for his actions during the campaign,he was forgiven by the locals.
Opening times:Mon to Sat-09.00 till 11.00 and 15.00 till 17.00,admission is free.
Many buses travel to Mosta from Valletta,numbers-43,47,49 and 52
As Mosta, at the beginning only a small village of farmers, developed rapidly in late 18th century, its inhabitants felt the need of a bigger church.
The famous Rotunda was made on a site of the much smaller church built in 1614. The new church was supposed to be built around the older church and when the construction was completed the old one to be dismantled.
The Rotunda was designed by the Maltese architect Giorgio Grongnet de Vasse and it was considered that he proposed an innovative design for church architecture in Malta based on the design of Pantheon in Rome.
The works to the Rotunda were completed in 1860.
In front of the Rotunda you will see a cannon and many roads from all directions will lead you directely to the roundabout in front of the Rotunda-church. The hop-on, hop-off-bus and a lot of other regular buslines will take you there as well.
When going to Mosta, remember that the church is closed between noon and 03.00pm !
The church has place inside for a total of 12.000 people, this is what I read in Wikipedia, its hard to believe for me and I am sure it will never happen anyway,so it is impossible to proove it !
There are 2 clocks at the Rotunda,right under the small towers and while the one on the right is an ordinary clock showing the time, the other one on the left is showing the date. On other churches in Malta you will see 2 clocks and both of them are showing the time, once the correct time and once a completely wrong one,and that is in order to"confuse the devil", so he never knows, at what time the churchservice will start. That is one of the stories that you will hear on the hop-on&off-bus, BUT I think that the devils of today are much more clever than these architects thought !
Dont miss the aviation-museum in Ta'Qali
it is just about 2km from Mosta ! and the former airport of Ta'Quali was also the reason to throw bombs in Mosta in WW II.
The hop-on bus goes there before they take you to Mosta and Rabat,but there will be a public bus there as well from Mosta.
The entrancefee to the museum was 5 euros and I saw some really interesting exhibits there ! At the moment (Nov.2010) they are building a new hall that should be finished in 2011 maybe.
It is always great for me to see these great balconies in Malta, and in Mosta you will also see a lot of them, and when you are lucky the sun will shine on them like in my photos here.
Mosta is about 9km from Valetta and it has more than 19.000 inhabitants nowadays. When it comes to cartrafic, Mosta is a lot more peaceful than Valetta, and not a bad place to live.
This church in quite a small town of Malta is ranking on place No.4 in the list of largest cuppolas in the world after the Hagia Sofia, St.Peters in Rome and a church in Brasil. The church is also quite big compared to the average buildings of Mosta and so you will see it from almost any place in town and when youlook at Mosta from Rabat or Mdina, the church stands out, beeing at least 2 times as high as any other building of Mosta (see my last photo!).
When you would like to see its great interior, you should know, that they have a lunch-break between noon and 03.00pm !!!
The interior of the Rotunda is worth seeing as well, I especially loved the angels that you will find under the large paintings on the walls, like shown here in my main photograph ! The pulpit is also worth seeing because it is standing on the floor instead of beeing fixed somewhere on the walls like in other churches (you will see it in my last photo !).
The Bomb Miracle of April 9, 1942 happened in Mosta when 3 bombs were thrown down from german airplanes, and the first 2 bombs could not destroy the cuppola, but simply bounced off and the 3rd bomb pierced the dome, it fell on the floor of the Rotunda, BUT did not explode. About 300 people were trying to find shelter in the Rotunda at that time, but nobody was hurt.
You can still see a replica of that bomb in the sacristy, it was a 200kg bomb.
The cuppola of the Rotunda is the world's forth largest unsupported dome with an internal diameter of 37.2 metres. You will be able to enter the church freely and without restrictions, except in the time between noon and 03.00pm, when the church will be closed.
Walk to the very end of the church and into the saceristy and you will hear about a bomb that hit the cuppola of the Rotunda during WW II. - you will see the bomb in my next tip!
The church has a really impressive entrance with a row of columns similar to a Roman temple and you will find some interesting sculptures there as well.
The church was built in 1860 by a Maltese architect named Giorgio Grongnet de Vasse and it was his idea to design a church similar to the Pantheon in Rome.
The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady is the official name of this church, but most people just call it the Rotunda of Mosta or Rotunda of St Marija Assunta, and of course it is a roman-catholic church like almost every church in Malta.
We arrived to see the famous Mosta dome at 12:05 only to find out the church is closed between 12:00 and 15:00!! Don't get me wrong the outside is prety nice as well, but it would have been nicer to see the dome as well...
April 9, 1942 was a dark day for the Rotunda.
During an afternoon air-raid, at approximately 16.40 hrs, a large bomb pierced the dome (look at the pictures of my dome tip to see the spot marked) and fell inside among 300 persons attending the mass.
Luckily the bomb didn't explode and no one was hurt.
The replica of the bomb and some pictures from those moments are displayed in the Sacristy.
The pulpit is one of the cathedral's most beautiful ornaments.
The wooden pulpit is supported by eight relatively low Ionic wooden columns and is richly decorated in the upper part and between the bronze sculpted plaques.
The altar is placed in a niche similar to the ones around it, housing the chapels.
It is in a straight line from the entrance, flanked by two Corinthian white columns with golden capitals and adorned with white stone statues and paintings.