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Churches

  • Metropolitan Cathedral of St Paul (St Paul's Square​)
    Traditionally built over the remains of the house of Publius, the Roman Governor who welcomed Paul after the shipwreck, its first documentary evidence of a church dates to the middle of the 13th century. During the 17th century the Church authorities were contemplating building a new Cathedral. The earthquake of 1693 severely damaged the old Cathedral, and Maltese architect Lorenzo Gafà was commissioned to plan the new Cathedral. The building started in 1697 and was completed in 1704. It has been described as one of the masterpieces of baroque architecture in Malta. The interior of the Cathedral contains canvases by Mattia Preti and various 19th and 20th century Italian artists. 

    The titular of the Cathedral shows the Conversion of St Paul, while the apse shows the Shipwreck of St Paul in Malta, both works of Preti. A number of monuments are to be seen in the church, commemorating past Bishops of the diocese, while the pavement is covered with coloured tombstones of past prelates and other individuals, one of whom is Lord Strickland, a former Prime Minister of Malta.

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  • ​Carmelite Church of the Annunciation (Villegaignon Street)
    The present church dates to the 17th century, after permission was given for the Carmelites to have their church and convent located within the fortification walls of Mdina, for safety reasons. The plan for the church and convent was prepared by Mederico Blondel, while the building was supervised by Francesco Sammut. On the latter’s death, Lorenzo Gafà took over. The church is considered as one of the most interesting baroque churches in Malta. The façade is decorated with one of the best corner statues in Malta, a work by Sigismondo Dimech. The statue was probably a votive offering after the plague of 1813. The titular painting is by Stefano Erardi. The processional statue dates to the 18th century. In September 1798, the French authorities tried to sell in an auction a number of materials seized from the church, and the local people prevented this from progressing. This was to be the start of the uprising of the Maltese against the French, leading to a two-year long blockade.

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  •  St Peters in Chains Church (Magazines Street)
    In 1575 the church dedicated to St Peter was reported to be in ruins. This led to the rebuilding of this church, and by 1614 its construction was probably completed. The church fronts a small square. It has a central doorway, with a small bell-cot on the façade. The barrel-vaulted interior leads to a small apse, where there is a small painting by Mario Caffaro Rore depicting St Peter in Chains. ​

  • Church of St Agatha (Piazzetta Maria Adeodata Pisani) 
    ​The origin of this church is not known, but there was already a church dedicated to St Agatha at the beginning of the 15th century. A previous altarpiece is the 16th century work given as a votive offering by Don Giuseppe Manduca, after the terrible piratical incursion of 1551. It is said that after praying to St Agatha and organising a procession with a statue of the saint around Mdina, the enemy abandoned the siege. Built to the designs of Lorenzo Gafà in 1694, the church was blessed by the then-bishop of Malta, together with the new titular painting by Giuseppe D’Arena. One of the first solemn masses celebrated in the church was attended by Grand Master Adrien de Wignacourt. St Agatha is one of the minor patron saints of Malta.

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  • Church of St Nicholas (St Nicholas Street)
    In 1434 there was already a church dedicated to St Nicholas, although it is not known when it was originally built. The present building dates to the 17th century. This church is located close to the Greeks’ Gate, the secondary gate of Mdina. It has an interesting concave façade, thus offering dignity in the restricted space available. Two side windows would have provided devotees a place to offer their prayers and gifts when the church would be closed. The church boasts of a small dome and a small stone altar. The titular painting has been removed to the Cathedral Museum.

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Church of St. Roque - Our Lady of the Light (Villegaignon Street)
Before the present church, there was another smaller church dedicated to the Holy Cross. Documented in 1398, it is one of the oldest documented churches in Mdina. In 1598 a church dedicated to St Roque was built within the old entrance of Mdina. When the new entrance of Mdina was rebuilt in the early 18th century, the church was rebuilt instead of the old church of the Holy Cross. The present church dates to 1728 and built to the designs of Francois Mondion. It is an elegant church, with various baroque decorations. The titular painting is exhibited at the Cathedral Museum. Due to the small painting showing Our Lady of Light, the church soon started to be referred to by this devotion.

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  •  ​ ​​Church and Nunnery of St Peter (Villegaignon Street)
    The origin of this cloistered community and church goes back to the Medieval times. The present church was rebuilt in 1625, as is indicated by an inscription above the door. The façade is decorated with two niches, in which there are statues of St Peter and St Benedict. The interior of the church is richly decorated. The titular is one of the masterpieces by Mattia Preti, while a number of other canvases adorn the church. One of the abbesses of the community was Blessed Adeodata ​Pisani, who was declared blessed in 2001 by St John Paul II, during his second visit to Malta. Her mortal remains are kept in an urn, located in one of the niches within the church. The monastery as built in 1690 to the designs of Lorenzo Gafà.
  • Church of the Visitation (Inguanez Street)
    A small and forgotten church is located in one of the narrowest and longest streets of Mdina. Already mentioned in the 16th century, it passed through various structural changes more than once. Although not endowed with benefices, it was still functioning for the benefit of the local people. The church had a painting showing the Visit by Our Lady to St Elizabeth, but it was already described as very old in the 17th century. The small church passed through some alterations, and probably the last works were carried out in 1720. Although empty of any decorations, the church hosts one of the oldest bells to be found in Malta, dated to 1451.
  • Church of Our Lady of Victory (St Paul's Square​)
    ​It was already standing in 1436, when it is mentioned during the pastoral visit by Bishop Senatore de Mello. It was probably originally dedicated to the Nativity of Our Lady. Throughout the years it passed through various changes, one of which was the change in the dedication, namely as that of Our Lady of Victory. The present church was rebuilt in 1956, after it was severely damaged during one of the many air-raids during the Second World War. This church forms part of the Cathedral Chapter. The church is very plain, but still attracts a number of devotees due to the fact that the image of the Virgin survived the war without any damage.