365 is the number of Churches and Chapels scattered across the Maltese Islands. Malta was one of the first countries in the world to adopt Christianity, thus having a religious history full of heritage elements and numerous relics throughout the territory. Malta is one of the smallest countries in the world, this is an impressive number that promises to surprise any culture, art and history enthusiast.
According to legend, St. Paul sank on the shores of the archipelago when he was in captivity and headed for Rome. It was this apostle who was responsible for the introduction of the Catholic religion in this country, and today it is possible to make the journey of St. Paul through Shrines, Churches, Basilicas and even caves. Among the most believers or just lovers of history and art, this route is gaining more and more notoriety among tourists of all ages.
St. Paul’s Cathedral, Mdina, Malta
Mdina, the ancient capital of Malta, is characterized by perfectly combining medieval and baroque architecture.
According to tradition, St. Paul took refuge after the wreck in underground caves that are now known as the Catacombs of St. Paul in Rabat. Later, the apostle was invited to Publio’s house in Mdina, the highest Roman authority of the islands. It was in that place that St. Paul healed him from a severe fever. Publius is believed to have, after such a feat, converted to Christianity and was named the first bishop of Malta. Mdina Cathedral was built on the site of his home.
St. Mary’s Church, Mosta, Malta
Built on an old church in 1860, it is also known as the Mosta Parish Church. Its circular shape and dome considered the fourth largest in the world, make this monument a unique architectural building. During World War II, a bomb pierced the dome and slid across the church floor when it was filled with believers. There was no explosion and everyone present was unharmed.
St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta
This Cathedral is considered the first absolute example of Baroque art in the world. All marble inlays correspond to the 17th and 18th century Knights of Malta tombstones. Here is also the crypt of the founder of Valletta, Grandmaster Jean Parisot de la Vallette.
Ta’Pinu Basilica, Gharb, Gozo
Ta’Pinu Basilica was built in 1833, according to tradition, after a believer heard the voice of Our Lady in an ancient chapel in that locality. Almost a century later, and with a history of several miracles in place, funds were collected from the inhabitants of Gozo and in 1920 the Basilica began to be built. This is the place of pilgrimage most recognized by the Maltese.
Located in the Citadel, built in an ancient temple of Goddess Juno, between 1697 and 1771, stands the imposing Gozo Cathedral. Designed by Maltese architect Lorenzo Gafa, it was entirely built with the region’s stone, limestone. This Cathedral is essentially known for the fresco of the trapezoidal ceiling, which creates the illusion of a dome while in reality, the ceiling is flat.