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Five Must-See Valletta Churches in Malta

Five-Must-See-Valletta Churches-Malta

Malta is a unique country because there are so many churches in such a small area. Think about it: there are over 350 churches across the whole country, which makes it possible to visit one church almost every day in a year!
We decided to explore five Valletta churches worth visiting for everyone who lives and travels in Malta.

Church of Our Lady of Victory — the oldest one among all Valletta Churches

Church of Our Lady of Victory is remarkable in that being one of the oldest churches in Malta. Moreover, it was the first building fully completed in the new city of Valletta.
The Knights of the Order of St John built the church in memory of the battle with the Ottoman army that invaded Malta in 1565. It was also a way to thank the Blessed Virgin for her help during the fight.
The church isn’t big, but there is a place for art pieces, such as depictions of St Anthony of Egypt and St Anthony of Padua. Visitors can find the church of Our Lady of Victory right after the city Gate and on the left from Upper Barrakka Gardens.

Flying above Valletta: Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is one of the largest churches in Valletta. Its magnificent dome rises above tiny houses, which makes the outlook even more impressive.
Like the Church of Our Lady of Victory, the Basilica’s construction started shortly after Valletta’s founding. The Basilica belonged to the Carmelite Order.
One of the central art pieces in the Basilica is a painting of the Virgin Mary holding a baby Jesus. The church also includes a wooden statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on a silver pedestal.
There was a dramatic moment in the Basilica’s story during World War II. In 1942, the church was bombarded and suffered severe damage. After its reconstruction, the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel became a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a part of Valletta.

Church of St. Lucy — Valletta’s hidden treasure

The Church of St Lucy is small and a little tucked away, so you can almost miss it. It’s between two houses on Lvant Street, pretty close to the stunning sea view.
The church was built in 1570. At first, it was dedicated to St Francis of Paola, the founder of the Roman Catholic Order of Minims. After rebuilding, the church was dedicated to St Lucy, a martyr who died during the Diocletianic Persecution. The church is also dedicated to St. Vincent Ferrer, a well-known Dominican friar and preacher from Valencia.
Three statues, including St Lucy, decorate the roof of the church. Besides, The church of St Lucy also has paintings of all three saints to whom it was dedicated. The depiction of St Lucy and St Vincent Ferrer, together with St Paul and St Clare, is on top of the high altar. There is also a side altar dedicated to St Francis of Paola.

A place where people come together: Church of St Barbara

What makes the Church of St Barbara unique among all Valletta churches? This place brings together Roman Catholics from different communities. The church holds Holy Masses not only in Maltese but also English, German, French, and Tagalog.
From the beginning, the church was dedicated to St Barbara, a virgin martyr of early Christianity. Believers know her best as a patron of those who worked with cannons and explosives, like tunnellers, miners, or armorers.
Since its founding in 1573, the church has had a baroque style. One of the main details is a large and gilded statue of the Immaculate Conception. Visitors can find it above the door. The church is also unique in its oval dome, typical for baroque buildings but rare for churches.

Valletta’s landmark: St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral

Roman Catholicism is the main religion in Malta. However, other denominations are also present in the country. For example, one of the well-known Valletta churches, St Paul Pro-Cathedral, belongs to the Church of England.
Unlike other Valletta churches mentioned here, St. Paul Pro-Cathedral is relatively young, about 180 years old. Its story began in the XIX century after the visit of the Dowager Queen Adelaide. Once finding out there was no place for Anglicans to worship, she commissioned to build a church for Anglican services.
It took five years to build the cathedral, and in 1844, it was dedicated to Paul the Apostle. The cathedral is built in the neo-classical style with a steeple, a landmark for Malta due to its 60-meter height. Another feature is an over 300-year-old organ built in 1684 in northwest England.

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