7 Churches in Valletta you Should Consider for your Wedding Ceremony
It’s no wonder that Valletta is one of the most beloved locations in Malta to exchange vows. While you can’t get married in the city’s most famous (and arguably most beautiful) church – St John’s Co-Cathedral – there are more than 25 other churches to choose from. Good luck picking a favourite.
BASILICA OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL (MADONNA TAL-KARMNU)
The Basilica is one of Valletta’s main tourist attractions, and its dome can be seen all the way across from Sliema. Originally dedicated to the Annunciation, it was given to the Carmelites in the early 17th century, which bestowed the title of the order on it. It was seriously damaged during World War II and had to be extensively rebuilt. It is noteworthy for its striking carved interiors, its lush red marble columns, and the painting of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
FRANCISCAN CHURCH OF ST MARY OF JESUS (TA’ GIEZU)
The church was designed by the prolific architect Girolamo Cassar, after the Friars Minor were granted a piece of Valletta to build a church in 1571. The church is laden with lavish artworks, donated by grandmasters and noblemen over the years, but the main attraction is undoubtedly the Miraculous Crucifix. Legend has it that the sculptor, Frate Innocenzo Da Petralia found the statue's head complete after arising from a much-needed night's sleep.
CHURCH OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN OF NOTRE-DAME LIESSE (TA’ LIESSE)
This church, first built in 1620, was rebuilt by the langue of France in 1740. It was severely damaged during World War II but was again opened for worship in 1952. Today, it is the National Centre for the Apostleship of the Sea, which provides pastoral care to sea travellers in ports all over the world.
COLLEGIATE CHURCH OF ST PAUL SHIPWRECK (NAWFRAGJU TA’ SAN PAWL)
Another Girolamo Cassar original, the façade of the church was rebuilt in 1885 according to the design of Nicola Zammit. Besides the titular statue of St Paul, which is paraded through the streets of the capital each year on February 10, the church also houses St Paul’s right wrist-bone and part of the column where he was beheaded in Rome.
ST AUGUSTINE CHURCH (SANTU WISTIN)
While the original plan of St Augustine Church was designed by Girolamo Cassar in 1571, it was rebuilt under a new plan in 1765. However, a number of the relics found inside the church are original artefacts from the first church, including a sixteenth-century painting of the Augustinian Nicholas of Tolentino by Mattia Preti. The church is also famous for its statue of St Rita.
ST CATHERINE OF ITALY CHURCH (SANTA KATERINA TA’ L-ITALJA)
St Catherine was built by the Italian langue of the Knights of St John in 1576 and still serves as the parish church for Malta’s sizeable Italian community. Mattia Preti painted both the cupola and the titular painting, which depicts the martyrdom of St Catherine. The church underwent a major restoration between 2001 and 2011.
ST PAUL’S PRO-CATHEDRAL (IL-PRO-KATIDRAL)
St Paul’s Pro-Cathdral was commissioned by the Dowager Queen Adelaide during a visit to Malta in the 19th century when she found out that there was no place of Anglican worship on the island. Its spire rises over 60m in height. It also houses the organ on which Handel is said to have played his famous Messiah on the way to Dublin for the first time ever.