The St Marija Assunta church with its enormous dome is the symbol of this village. This dome is already seen from far and it is the fourth largest one in Europe, after Rome, London and Xewkija (on Gozo).
This church is an imitation of the Pantheon in Rome.
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.
Mosta is mainly a busy working town but visitors come here to see its huge parish church - the Mosta Rotunda built in the mid 19th century. Its dome is huge - the fourth largest in Europe. Its massive walls, up to 6m deep meant the dome could be constructed without scaffolding. ts certainly a focus of attention when viewed from high places like Mdina - where this pic was taken from the bastions near the Fontanella tearooms.
The Mosta Rotunda is amongst the most famous churches on the island. Its dome is reputed to be the fourth largest in the world. It was built in 1833 with a design similar to that of the Roman Pantheon. During World War II a 500lb bomb penetrated the dome of the church but miraculously failed to explode to the good fortune of a congregation of 300. A replica of the bomb is found in the sacristy.
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 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.
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 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 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 !).
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 !
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.
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.
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 !! :-)