After the besieging Turks were chased off the peninsula, the Knights of St. John hurried to consecrate the first stone of their new capital: Valletta. The ceremony for the laying of this stone was held at this spot and the church was subsequently built on top. It was Valletta's first church. Later the Grand Master of La Valette was buried here.
Easily the most outstanding feature of Valletta's skyline is the dome of the Carmelite Church. It was Valletta's first church, built in 1570, but has been damaged many times since. The greatest damage came during World War 2, and Axis bombs forced the reconstruction of the magnificent 62 meter high dome.
Inside the Carmelite church is less spectacular, especially when compared to the Co-Cathedral nearby. The interior of the dome, however, is impressive and covers the atrium and altar.
Malta is a thoroughly Catholic country, but it was for a long time a part of the British Empire. So it was that a British monarch, Queen Adelaide, decided to build an Anglican cathedral here. Being as the Church of England is thoroughly Protestant, there isn't a great deal of use for it in Malta, but its very British spire stands out as one of the two iconic features of Valletta's skyline, along with the dome of the Carmelite church.
St Barbara’s Church was built in 1573 for the Knights of the Auberge of Provence, which is just across the road. This quite small Church was rebuilt in1739, and in 1904, a statue of the Virgin Mary was placed in the facade of the church. The Statue was placed there to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. It is the parish church for English, French and German speaking Maltese residents.
Our Lady of Victory Church was the first church to be built in Valletta by the Order of St John.
Initially, this Church was dedicated to the Nativity of Our lady but later was dedicated to Our Lady of Victory, to commemorate the end of the Great Siege.
The founder of the city, Grand Master La Vallette, was buried here, but his remains were later transferred to the Cathedral. Our Lady of Victory Church was rebuilt in its baroque architectural style in the mid-18th century.
As I walked along the waterfront, I nearly missed this little Chapel, you would hardly know it's there. All that gave it away for me, was the different coloured door [white] and designs. It was nestled in amongst the Grand Harbour waterfront shops. The style of the façade is baroque, and has two bell towers, imposing cornices and baroque detailing.
The Chapel was constructed under the reign of Grand Master Pinto in the 1750s, and was used by departing and arriving sailors. In this historic area, it is easy to stand here and imagine the crews of the galleons of the "Knights of St. John", and the many international seafarers and merchants coming here to worship.
St. Publius was the 1st Governor of Malta and it's believed he was consecrated first Bishop of Malta.
It was in 60AD, during the Roman period he was converted to Christianity.
The people of Floriana, Valletta, chose Publius as their patron saint and dedicated to him their parish church.
The first stone was laid in 1733, but during to lack of funds, work on the structure was delayed until 1792, when the nave was completed and the building was then consecrated as a vice-parish church. More additions were made later, and after the war. The statue of St. Publius, is carried in procession during the annual feast day, dating from 1815.
I actually came across this Church by chance, and even though I couldn't go inside, I was impressed with what I saw.
The temple fronts Granaries Square which is the venue of religious congregations and other gatherings of a social and political nature.
St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral is the other cathedral of La Valletta and it is also the first Protestant church built in Malta. It took 6 years and the suicide of one of the architects to build this cathedral, and it was completed only in Cathedral 1844 – the Bishop of Gibraltar consecrated it the same year.
The cathedral can accommodate 1500 people and the pointed steeple, which you can see lit up at night from far away, is the 65 metres high. A curiosity: for some obscure reason this building falls under the jurisdiction of the Anglican See of Gibraltar.
My two first impressions of La Valletta, seen from across the harbor in Sliema, were the protective walls that surround it completely and the large dome belonging Carmelite church that dominates the skyline. Imagine my displeasure when I found out that the dome did not belong to any significant building, especially the cathedral.
This church was built in 1573, then it was heavily damaged in World War II and rebuilt. This time it was also enlarged and the dome was added: and guess what? It is just a bit higher than the nearby of St Paul's Anglican Cathedra’s spire
Our Lady of Victory is a special church because it was the first one to be built in la Valletta. The place where it stands is very symbolic: it’s where the first stone of the new city was set on 28 March 1566, after having defeated the Turks during the 'Great Siege' of 1565. The Grand Master Jean Parisot de Vallette was originally buried in this church before being moved to St John's Co-Cathedral.
Initially, however, it was not a church but a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Victory, it was only in the 18th century that the building was enlarged, a belfry added, and it became a church.
Built between 1639 and 1740 this lovely Baroque church is hidden away on Triq San Pawl. In the depths of the church is claimed to be the wristbone of St Paul & part of the pillar on which he was beheaded.
St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral, was the first Protestant church built in Malta. The building was conceived in 1838 by Queen Adelaide (Dowager Queen of King William IV) who at the time was convalescing in Malta due to a serious illness and could not belive that there was no place of Anglican worship on the island. Queen Adelaide contributed the sum of £10,000 towards the building, and the first stone was laid in March 1839.
The site of the church was formerly occupied by the Auberge of Germany which was dimolished to make room for the Cathedral. The plans were drawn by a British architect, who also supervised the works during the construction some structural defects started to develop and the architect committed suicide. The works stopped for some time resuming in 1842 then under the direction of Frank Scamp who was another British engineer that happened to be in Malta engaged on the construction of the first drydock.
The Cathedral was completed in 1844 at a total cost of 20,000 pounds and was consecrated in the same year by the Bishop of Gibraltar and it falls under the jurisdiction of the Anglican See of Gibraltar.
A congregation of upto 1,500 persons can be accommodated inside the church
The main attraction of the Cathedral is its fine classical portico made up of eight ionic columns and the Gothic spire which is 60 metres high and one of the landmarks of Valletta.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church was originaly dedicated to Our Lady of the Annunciation was the first functional church in Valletta and first opened it's doors in 1570 soon after the Carmolite Friars were granted a piece of land by Grand Master Pietro del Monte, The church was designed by Gerolamo Cassar (c1550-92) but underwent many susequent modifications and additions, The Facade was rebuilt in 1852 to the design Giuseppe Bonavia.
The Church suffered extensive damage durind World War II and it was decided to Rebuild the church, The 'new church' was constructed between 1958 and 1981 and is by far the most prominate building of Valletta's skyline with 12 Corinthian columns of a rusty red marble that support the huge Dome.
The main attraction of the church is the early seventeenth century painting of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This was the first painting on Malta to be 'crowned' by the Vatican in 1981
Sculptor Chevalier Joseph Damato has sculpted all the interior of the church and work has been ongoing for over 19 years
This small church was the first the knights built in their new city to commemorate their victory in the Great Siege of 1565. De La Valette laid the foundation stone and was initially buried here before being interred in St. John's Co Cathedral.
This church was designed by Cassar for the Italian knights and abutting their auberge. The facade and porch were added in 1713 and the octagonal church is still used today by the Italian community. The main altarpiece is of the Martyrdom of St. Catherine.