The church is beautifully decorated with paintings depicting scenes from the birth of Jesus of the well-known artist Giuseppe Cal.
Other remarkable paintings of the same artist are "Santa Monica" and "The Death of St. Augustine".
Other works of art in the Rotunda are attributed to Pasquale Buhagiar and the original statue of the patron saint by Salvatore Dimech.
The legendary dome is, without doubt, Rotunda's attraction.
With an internal diameter of 39.6 meters, some say the dome is the second unsupported structure in the world in the world after the one of St. Peter in Vatican of 42.1 meters; other say is the third after St Sophia in Istanbul.
The dome ceiling is decorated with diagonally-set tablets which spiral upwards, decreasing in size as they reach the apex.
At the lower level, the six arched niches are housing six chapels.
Among these chapels are the one dedicated to the Madonna of the Rosary and the one dedicated to the Crucifying.
The paintings between the niches are presenting scenes from Jesus life.
Other huge statues, such as the ones of St. Peter or the Virgin Mary, are placed on the balustrade that is surrounding the small space in front of the church.
The square, bounded by one-storey buildings, is pretty small and there are only a few angles from which you can take a good photo of the Rotunda.
The entrance of the Rotunda is preceded by an open corridor, flanked by the two lines of Ionic order columns.
The niches, disposed on two levels, have ten large stone statues representing the apostles and other saints, such as: John, Andrew or Philip.
The Greek inspiration facade of the Rotunda is supported by six external columns.
According to Ionic order, the columns have scrolls on each of the four corners of the capitals and carved rings at the base.
The outer sides of the facade are also supported by four fake columns of Corinthian Order crowned with a rich decorated inverted bell-shaped capital.
The massive facade is flanked by two bell towers.
Compared to the gigantic dome in the background and the solid columns of the facade, the short and slender bell towers have a strange disproportionate look.
The towers finish at the level of the dome and have an upper part supported by arches, decorated similar to the facade.
The imposing facade of the Rotunda is adorned with stone carvings of classical Greek inspiration.
Just look closely to decoration on the fronton. It seems that the church is decorated with the finest handmade lace.
Just arriving in front of the church you can notice that not only the huge dome is impressing, but the whole building.
The external height of the massive building, to the top of the towers, is of 61 meters.
Mosta is located in the middle of the island of Malta, to the north-west of Valletta. Mosta is located on a plain and is surrounded by fertile agricultural land.
As the distances are pretty short in Malta, Mosta can be easily located in the scenery due to the huge dome of its Rotunda.
Mosta has a population of about 22,000 inhabitants.
The Mosta church as we know it today, was commenced in 1833. It was built around a smaller church which was still giving religious services to the villagers.Work was finished in October 1871. It took so long to be finished due to lack of funds. The dome is said to be one of the largest in Europe compared to other churches.
Click on photo to see more pictures
Around the Roman Pantheon shaped church, there's 6 chapels. Starting clockwise from the left side door, first chapel is dedicated to 'Madonna tac Cintura', second to St Paul and the third Madonna of the Rosary . Passing both sacristies and the Main Altar there's a chapel of Crucifiction, fifth of St Joseph and sixth chapel of St Roque. Between each chapel arch there's a painting of the life of Jesus and beneith a Prophet figure. The latter are painted so good that they appear to be 3 Dimensional. Please click on image to see more photos about this tip.
Under the narthex, between the massive columns, there are ten large stone statues in niches. Most of them are apostle figures such as Peter, Matthew, Thomas, Andrew and Philip. The small dome that you'll see if you enter from either of the lateral doors (click on pic to see more photos) is carved from the ceiling stonework, so these two domes cannot be seen from outside.
All of you visiting the church knows that a bomb pierced through the dome, but not everyone knows that the scar is still visble. Imagine you're seeing the dome from the second chapel on your left hand side of entrance. I highlighted the area to get the idea.
During WWII Malta suffered lots of bombings because in those days we were still serving the British Colony. Most vulnerable areas during the war are always the sea ports and the airfields. Senglea, Cospicua and Valletta were close to the Grand Harbour and suffered a lot of bombings. Further west, Mosta was the closer town to the airfields in Ta'Qali. On the 9 th April 1942, a German fighter airplane was circling the airfield when it encountered some technical problems. For safety reasons the pilot had to let loose of the bomb, which ended up laying on the churchfloor. Some say that it was a miracle intervention that the bomb didn't explode. Sceptics say that the bomb was defused so it will make minimal damage. Some conspiracies never make harm!! You can have a look at the bomb similar to the actual one in the Rotunda Sacristy. Don't tell the priest you know about this conspiracy !! :-)