St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Malta

19 Reviews

St John St, VALLETTA, VLT 1156, MALTA +356 2122 5639

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  • The train stops right infront of the Cathedral
    The train stops right infront of the...
    by shavy
  • St. John’s Co-Cathedral
    by shavy
  • St. John’s Co-Cathedral
    by shavy
  • Drever's Profile Photo

    Malta St John’s Co-Cathedral

    by Drever Written Jul 11, 2014

    The Maltese are immensely religious, so it's not surprising that you can scarcely turn a corner without finding a church - every village or town has at least one church. The most important contributing events were the spreading out of the Turkish Empire during the Renaissance, and the rise of the Knights of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.

    The Knights added to Malta and Gozo's existing church legacy so now 365 churches dominate the skyline. These range from chunky fortresses to exquisite cathedrals. In this one tiny country you can see the changing church architecture, role and decoration from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance to the modern era.

    The most historically significant is the co-cathedral of St. John, built by the Knights in the 1570s. Described as the first complete example of the high baroque anywhere, it epitomises the role – spiritual and military - of its patrons.

    St. John's received Co-Cathedral status with the Cathedral at Mdina in 1816 under Pope Pius VII. The stark façade is reminiscent of the fortifications of Valletta, the fortress city in which it stands. Startled by its joyful and lavish baroque and yet tasteful atmosphere from floor to ceiling inside showing the Knights’ deep appreciation and patronage of culture and the arts, I gazed in wonder. Paintings, gilding or carving cover almost every last piece of the walls, vault and chapels. Sir Walter Scott called it the most beautiful interior he had ever seen.

    History and culture are everywhere in this cathedral. Mattia Preti painted the massive vault using oils straight on the stone. These paintings show episodes from the life of St. John the Baptist. The roomy nave has on either side chapels decorated with lavish monuments of the Grand Masters and with precious works of art.

    The great Italian painter Caravaggio painted some of his finest works while serving here. The cathedral museum contains his priceless 1608 masterpiece The Beheading of St. John the Baptist, while one of the nine chapels on either side of the nave contains his well-known painting of St. Jerome.

    The smooth polished marble floor of the nave covers the graves of 364 Knights, whose colourful armourial bearings and Latin inscriptions are themselves works of art. It is a spectacular building and a fitting resting-place for the founder of Valletta, Grand Master Jean Parisot de la Vallette.

    The Cathedral Museum contains priceless works of arts, ancient hymn books, sacred vestments and famous Flemish Tapestries based on paintings by Poussin and Rubens. During June, the month of the festival of St John, the tapestries adorn the church interior itself.

    Several booklet and other specialised publications are on sale at the Cathedral gift shop. These give details of the history and the art treasures of this unique monument. Entrance is from Merchants Street and the entry fee is LM1 for adults- children are free.

    The stark fa��ade of the cathedral Elaborate carving Looking up the nave The grave of one of the 364 knights buried here
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    St John's Co-Cathedral

    by shavy Written Dec 12, 2013

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    This 16th-century the Cathedral in Valletta which is referred to in English as St. John's Co-Cathedral is one of the main tourist attractions of Valleta. The cathedral shows a contrast between the exterior and the interior. As subdued as the outside, so overwhelming is the inside of the building

    This cathedral is worth to visit and is located in the capital city Valleta
    The cathedral is open weekdays between 9:30 am and 16:30 pm during the summer and on Saturday morning . Since the cathedral is still used for its original purpose. When visiting on Sunday respectable attire is required

    The admission price for the tour of the cathedral is € 6

    The train stops right infront of the Cathedral

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    St John's Cathedral - interior

    by rcsparty Updated Sep 14, 2009

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    The interior of St John's Cathedral is amazing. On either side of the nave are chapels dedicated to the different leagues of the Knights of St John, based on nationality. It has highly decorated pillars and walls, an amazingly decorated marble floor, a large altar area, and is overall an impressive place to wander. Don' t miss the Beheading of St John the Baptist, by Caravaggio.

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    St John's Cathedral

    by rcsparty Updated Sep 14, 2009

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    The inside of St John's Cathedral is one of the most beautiful that I've seen, but you wouldn't know it from looking at the outside. It was built in the 1570's to be the church of the Knights of St John. It took on the co-cathedral name, in the early 1800's, when the pope gave it equal status with St Pauls Cathedral in Mdina. The Cathedral was designed by Gerolamo Cassar, and Mattia Preti designed the stone walls and painted the vaulted ceiling. This is one place that is a must stop while you are in Valletta.

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    St. John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta

    by hopang Updated Jul 8, 2009

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    St. John's Co-Cathedral was constructed in the 16th century and was designed by the famous architect Gerdamo Cassar. It is undoubtedly one of the most famous cathedrals in Malta.

    Entrance fee is approximately 6.00 euros per adult with chuildren under the age of 12 free-of-charge. Opening hours are between 9.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. from Monday to Friday and between 9.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. on Saturday. It is closed on Sunday and public holidays.

    Statue outside St. John's Co-Cathedral
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    Valletta – St. John’s Co- Cathedral

    by pure1942 Written May 10, 2009

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    Valletta is home to one of Malta’s most beautiful churches. St. John’s but you won’t get this impression from the outside. While the twin-towered facade is one of Valletta’s focal points it is the church’s interior which steals the show, with its rich ornamented, Baroque styling. From the multi-coloured marbled floor, highly decorated pillars and walls, wonderful side-chapels and huge altar area, the Cathedal’s interior really is a sight to behold. The Cathedral is also the final resting place of many Grand Masters of the Kights Order.
    The church itself was designed by Gerolamo Cassar and was built between 1573 and 1578. The church was built as the primary place of worship for the Kights of St. John. Previously, the Order’s main church was the Church of St. Lawrence in Vittoriosa. The status of St. John’s was raised to that of Cathedral in 1816, which made it equal to the older Cathedral of St. Paul in Mdina. Subsequently the titles of both Cathedrals were changed to ‘co-cathedral’.

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    St. John's Co-Cathedral

    by iwys Updated Feb 10, 2008

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    St John's Co-Cathedral is Malta's most important church and wonderful place to visit. It was built between 1573 and 1578 to be the conventual church of the Knights of St. John. The name "co-cathedral" dates back to 1816 when the Pope gave it equal status with St. Paul's Cathedral in Mdina as the official seat of the Archbishop of Malta.

    On either side of the nave are chapels allocated to the different leagues of the Knights of St. John, based on nationality. These include the Chapel of Germany, Chapel of France, Chapel of Italy, Chapel of Castille and Portugal etc.

    I highly recommend the fascinating audio tour.

    Admission: adults €5.82

    Opening times: Monday to Friday:
    09.30 to 16.30
    (last admission at 16.00)

    Saturday:
    09.30h to 12.30
    (last admission at 12.00)

    Closed on Sunday and Public Holidays

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    St. John's Co Cathedral in Valletta

    by micajo Written Jan 8, 2008

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    St. John's Co Cathedral is unremarkeable from the outside but incredibly ornate on the inside. Each of the different 'langues' (knights of a particular nationality had their own langue) has a their own chapel lined along the side of the nave in which they try and outdo each other in splendor. The barrel shaped ceiling is a single huge fresco, the lifework of famed artist Mattia Preti. And last but not least the floor is entirely taken by knight's graves all intricately inlaid marble in different colours, a recent book on the subject describes it as the 'most beautiful floor in the world.' This relatively unknown cathedral can count itself one of the most impressive in Europe. open 9:30 and 16:30 on weekdays and 9:30 and 12:30 on Saturdays. Entance is through the Carappechia Annex on Republic Street in between St John's Street and St Lucy Street, directly opposite the Law Courts.

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    St.John's Co-Cathedral Museum

    by Josibezz Written Aug 20, 2005

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    The Oratory of St John's Cathedral is home to Caravaggio's masterpiece, the Beheading of St John, which was commissioned for the Cathedral by the Order. The painting was restored at the Uffizzi Gallery in Florence and returned to its original place in 1998. The Oratory also houses Caravaggio's St Jerome. The Cathedral Museum meanwhile displays a unique collection of clerical vestments, object d'arts and some magnificent and precious Flemish tapestries.

    ENTRANCE FEE
    Lm1 adults
    children under 15 free

    Open All Year Round except on SUNDAYS and PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

    Opening Hours |
    Mon-Sat:09:30-12:00
    Mon-Fri:13:30-16:30
    Closed | Sat: 12:00 onwards

    Caravaggio's masterpiece
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    St.John's Cathedral in Valletta

    by Josibezz Written Aug 20, 2005

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    St John’s Cathedral is the highlight of the Maltese Islands. However short your stay on the Islands, this cathedral of the Knights of St John is a must to visit. Described as the first complete example of the high baroque anywhere, it epitomises the role – spiritual and military - of its patrons.

    The austere façade is reminiscent of the fortifications of Valletta, the fortress city in which it stands; while the exuberant and lavish baroque interior shows the Knights’ deep appreciation and patronage of culture and the arts.

    The Cathedral is testimony to the talent of Maltese military architect, Gerolamo Cassar, and to Mattia Preti, the Calabrian artist and Knight. Preti designed the intricate carved stone walls and painted the vaulted ceiling and side altars with scenes from the life of St John. The Cathedral houses also one of Europe’s most impressive and famous art works, Caravaggio’s Beheading of St John the Baptist.

    St.John's Cathedral - The Interior
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    THINGS TO DO: St. John's Cathedral [Valetta]

    by NoRiskNoFun Written Apr 22, 2005

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    St John’s Cathedral is supposed to be the highlight of the Maltese Islands. However short your stay on the Islands, this cathedral of the Knights of St John is a must to visit. Described as the first complete example of the high baroque anywhere, it epitomises the role – spiritual and military - of its patrons.

    The austere façade is reminiscent of the fortifications of Valletta, the fortress city in which it stands; while the exuberant and lavish baroque interior shows the Knights’ deep appreciation and patronage of culture and the arts.

    The Cathedral is testimony to the talent of Maltese military architect, Gerolamo Cassar, and to Mattia Preti, the Calabrian artist and Knight. Preti designed the intricate carved stone walls and painted the vaulted ceiling and side altars with scenes from the life of St John. The Cathedral houses also one of Europe’s most impressive and famous art works, Caravaggio’s Beheading of St John the Baptist.


    The Cathedral is a shrine to the Knights in another sense. Many sons of Europe’s noble families from the 16th to 18th centuries lie buried here. Their intricate, marble-inlaid tombstones form a magnificently crafted pavimento.
    The inscriptions relate the story of the lives and vaTHliant deeds of the Order.

    It is certainly a spectacular building and a fitting resting place for the founder of Valletta, Grand Master Jean Parisot de la Vallette. His tomb lies in the crypt, a quiet sanctuary and place of contemplation away from the busy streets outside.

    Valetta - St. John's Cathedral

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    St. John's Co-Cathedral, Valetta

    by wadekorzan Updated Feb 11, 2005

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    St. John's Co-Cathedral is located in the heart of Valetta and if you only visit two churches in Malta, this one should be one of them. Built just over 400 years ago, this was the church used by the Knights of St. John, and it is said to be the most beautiful church in Malta. Especially beautiful is the interior, done in so-called "Maltese Baroque". When you go inside, first notice the incredible floor, which consists of hundreds of marble tomb slabs in all different colours--it is an amazing work. There are twelves bays inside the church (6 on each side of the nave), and 8 of them are dedicated to different "langues" of the Order of St. John. Each bay is very unique, and some of them have incredible carvings.

    The name "Co-Cathedral" comes from the fact that this cathedral was elevated to the same status of St. Paul's Cathedral in Mdina.

    The cathedral is open from:
    Monday-Friday: 9:15-12:30 and 13:30 16:15
    Saturday open 9:15-12:30
    Closed on Sundays and pubic holidays

    The entrance fee is Lm 1, and can be paid at the ticket booth just to the left of the entrance.

    There is also a museum at the cathedral, just in case you are interested in seeing collections of the church silver, Flemish tapestries, vestments, etc.

    St. John's Co-Cathedral
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    Valletta - the city of churches

    by wroclawiak Updated Jan 4, 2005

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    Two days were enough to explore Valletta competely. I enjoyed walking down and up narrow streets and steep stairs. The churches are amazing here and they are everywhere in almost every street.
    Visit St Joh's Co-cathedral. It is an impressive church with beautiful chapels and most oustanding floor I've ever seen. The floor is a patchwork of colourful marble tomb slabs. Don't miss to see the Cathedral Museum with Caravaggio's famous painting The Beheading of St John the Baptist.
    You are not allowed to take pictures in the cathedral what is very annoying.
    You shouldn't miss the National Museum of Archaeology either.
    I think if you like the nightlife Valletta is not a goog place for that. It's better to move to touristic resorts. Valletta is calm and distinguished city.

    Valletta

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    St Johns Co-Cathedral in...

    by Elric Updated Aug 26, 2002

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    St Johns Co-Cathedral in Valetta.
    Doesn't look much from the outside, but inside......wow. From the mausoleums of past Grand Masters of the Knights of St John to a huge Caravaggio painting of the execution of St John this place has a wealth of art to please everyone. It really is a place you have to see for yourself.

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    If you love art you must see...

    by josie13 Written Aug 26, 2002

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    If you love art you must see the Caravaggio painting of the beheading of St. John the Baptist.
    Completed in 1608, this painting is often considered to be Caravaggio's best piece. It's sheer drama sends shivers down your spine and the way the artist has worked with the chiaro-scuro technique makes this a true masterpiece. Some say that it was painted on site with the old lighting arrangement in mind. I sort of believe this theory because it's location could not be more appropriate. It was recently sent to Florence, Italy for restoration.

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