CHURCHES AND CHAPELS OF MALTA AND GOZO
On entering a Christian cemetery, one is treading Holy Ground, in fact, just like a Church, a cemetery is Consecrated with a particular Liturgical rite. In this project I will restrict myself to Christian cemeteries.
Like we've seen in the chapters about Catacombs and Underground churches, there is a definite link between Cemeteries and Churches. People ended up celebrating at their 'cemetery' sending off their loved ones to life everlasting. Until a hundred and fifty years ago, this link was still there because there was a lot of burying inside churches and chapels. One can note graves of Knights in both Cathedrals in Malta. Early during British rule, this was prohibited for the common folk and even Pastors were buried in Cemeteries after a while.
During the Plague of the 15th century, the disposal of dead bodies was a problem in all towns and villages. Those of Valletta were mostly buried on Manoel Island, and for a time some of the victims from the Three Cities too. Soon, cemeteries were opened on the outskirts of these towns. In the villages old ruined chapels were used as burial places. Where there were no such chapels or not enough space inside, the authorities of the village would requisition a field for use as a cemetery.
The plague had frequently spread havoc among the Maltese even since before feudal times, but the worst was in the 19th century when it visited seven times. With all the dead bodies around, somewhere had to be found to bury them, so all over the islands more cemeteries were hastily prepared. Some cemeteries and chapels of this kind are dedicated to St.Roque to whom the Maltese prayed to protect them from this calamity. Some cemeteries do not even have a dedication because of the volatile situation at the time of their creation. Many of these Cemeteries were deconsecrated and the bodies exhumed in the 19th century, the bones taken to be reburied at the Addolorata Cemetery which was then just finished and built to serve all of Malta.
Where there is a church or Chapel functioning independently of the cemetery nearby that is used for regular liturgy, I will include it in the Towns and Villages chapter too, but where the Chapel is integral to the Cemetery, I will include it in this section only. There are of course smaller Cemeteries in use or not, which do not have a Chapel and these too I will include here. A few in Malta though not exclusively, are also Military cemeteries.
Most functioning cemeteries are run by the Maltese Ecclesiastical Authorities. A few are run by the Civil Authorities and where this is the case, I will make note. I will also follow an alphabetical order of towns and villages where the cemeteries happen to be, in three sections namely Malta, Military and Gozo.
Attard - St.Roque
Commonly called St.Anne, the church is dedicated to St.Roque and was built as thanksgiving for deliverance from the plague of 1675. The cemetery area near it is now a centre for teaching christian doctrine by members of the M.U.S.E.U.M.
Attard - All Souls (Tal-Erwieh)
In use before WWII.
Attard - Tal-Provvidenza
Still in use on Notabile Rd. Picture Right..........
Balzan - Holy Cross
A very small cemetery still in use. Picture Right..........
Birgu - Crucifix Oratory
At the site of this oratory, used to be a cemetery in the 16th century.
Birgu - Crypt
Built around 1530 this vault under the knights' infirmary at St Scholastica Street, is now apparently in use as a Crypt for the adjacent St. Anne's Church.
Birgu - Fort St.Angelo
A common grave holds the remains of some of those fallen during the Seige of 1565. Picture Right.....
Chapel of St.Anne. The Grand Masters who died before Valletta was built were interred in this small church then transferred to the new City when it was ready. Please see Towns and Villages section.
Birgu - St.Lawrence.
In use by the Parish of St.Lawrence and located just beyond the ruined Fort Salvatore. Some victims of the 1837 plague lie there. It had been closed for about 100 years before being re-opened in the 1960s. In 1993 work started on restoring some old graves and by 1995 a new chapel had been built in the centre of the cemetery. The old headstones were placed along the far wall.
Within this Cemetery there used to be three Chapels dedicated to the Assumption:
1. Fra Mariano Fava, a Franciscan Tertiary, built a small chapel which was already functioning in 1575 and was enlarged before 1602. In 1624 its site was given to the congregation of the Assumption which was founded at Vittoriosa some years before. Its altar was included in the new church built by this congregation.
2. Fr Giuseppe Bellia (+ 1592), parish priest of Birkirkara, and his family were the founders of another church built also in the same cemetery. Its endowment was registered in the records of Notary Andrea Albano in 1593. It was, however, already built in 1575. The Marian congregation was also given the site of this church for the building of their oratory. A side altar in this new church substituted the Bellia chapel.
3. There was another Assumption church near the same parish cemetery endowed by Tomaso Cilia on the 13th. May 1561, as stated in the records of Notary Placido Abel. This church was included for the last time in the records of the 1627 Pastoral Visit. Incidentally both during that year, as well as in 1618, it was used as the premises were the Grammar Master of Vittoriosa gave his lessons.
Birkirkara - Tal-Infetti.
A niche located in Triq l-Imriehal, Birkirkara, was constructed between 1814 and 1816 by the Parnis family as a reminder of the plague victims of 1813. The niche is located in close proximity to the former cemetery constructed purposely for the plague victims.
Birkirkara - St Helen Parish Church.
A sizeable crypt exists beneath St Helen's Parish Church.
Birzebbuga - St George.
The church of St George at Birzebbuga was built in 1683 over an older building which could be reached by means of a drawbridge, then a redoubt was built in 1715. This redoubt which still exists, took the place of an old cemetery which used to be surrounded by low stone walls and as one entered, there were four steps to be taken down to the cemetery level.
Bormla - All Souls
Bormla - St Francis de Paul
With the dismantling of the church of the same name, the British levelled this cemetery in 1903 to build drydocks for their navy.
Bormla - St Therese
Crypt underneath Monastic Church.
A crumbling ruin of a cemetery overgrown and with a few open graves. This is probably a cemetery from the time of the plague an not in use for at least a hundred years.
Dingli - Our Lady of Sorrows
The Cemetery was inaugurated in 1952 and Mass is celebrated in the chapel on the 2nd November and on the first Sunday of November. Pictures Below......
Dingli - St Dominica
This church used to have a cemetery for unbaptized babies.
Floriana - Kapuccini
A subterranean cemetery for the friars under Holy Cross Church was cut between 1725 and 1730. The entire site was badly damaged during WWII after which the Church and Friary were rebuilt. The cemetery was left abandoned for a while but re-opened in October 1979 after extensive reconstruction work. It was renowned for the mummified corpses of Capuchin Friars, which stood in a row of niches along the walls. Only one is left, enclosed in a glass case, thought to be Brother Crispin Zammit of Gozo, who died in 1867, aged 79 years.
Gharghur - St.John Baptist
The village cemetery was built for the 1592 and 1676 plague victims. It is adjacent to St.John Baptist Church first built in 1223.
Ghaxaq - Ta Loklin
Built on the spot where victims of the 1675-6 plague were buried. In the 1980s a chapel was erected in this cemetery which by this time was serving the village of Ghaxaq. Mass is celebrated here every first Sunday of the month.
Gudja - Tal-Bandieri
In use by the Parish
Gwardamangia - Our Lady of Sorrows
A church was built in 1590 near a cemetery for plague victims. The church still exists, but the cemetery deconsacrated and the bodies exhumed and moved. The space is now a cement surfaced playground.
Gwardamangia - 'Ta Braxia' Protestant
Opened in 1857 when the group of cemeteries close to the bastions in Floriana were full. It was designed by Emanuele Luigi Galitzia. Bombing during WWII damaged several of the larger ornamental monuments and blast flattened several of the vertical headstones. In 2001 an association Friends of ta Braxia was set up and assumed responsibility for its restoration, supported by 'Din l-Art Helwa'. The remains of residents of various nationalities lie here and there is also a Greek and Jewish section. Nowadays it is administered by the Civil Authorities. Photos Below......
Gzira Manoel Island
Victims who died at the 'Lazzaretto' quarantine on the small islet and some 15th century Plague victims from Valletta and the three cities lie in a number of small cemeteries and here in the crypt under the fort Chapel of St Anthony. The crypt was restored in 2009 together with the chapel above.
The Royal Engineers carried out a survey of Manoel Island between 1858 and 1862. Their plans show four cemeteries in the area.
In the grounds behind the quarantine hospital, were two cemeteries, one for Roman Catholics with its small chapel of St. George, and the second for other denominations.
Crypt under St Anthony's Church
1860 Location of some of the cemeteries on Manoel Island.
Hamrun - Blata l-Bajda
The existing chapel of the Miraculous Medal and the Headquarters of MUSEUM were built between 1958 and 1964. The remains of Blessed George Preca lie in its chapel crypt. The complex sits squarely on a deconsecrated Cemetery of Plague victims.
Iklin - St.Michael
This Chapel is at L-Iklin near Lija and is from the 15th century but rebuilt in 1615. It used to have a cemetery near it.
Kalkara - St Roque (Wied Ghammieq)
The 1837 cholera victims who died in Fort Ricasoli were buried in a cemetery hastily erected at Wied Ghammieq. In 1878 the cemetery was given a facelift and became a centre of devotion for the souls of the faithful departed. In the 1950s the present structure was built to replace an older one. The present chapel was on the plans of Vincenzo Bonello.
Kalkara - St Nicholas
Fort Ricasoli has a church dedicated to St Nicholas and below it is a Crypt beautifully laid out. One can reach this crypt through a spiral staircase from what used to be the vestry.
Kirkop - Annunciation
This Church, built in 1450 to cater as a burial place for plague victims and closed in 1575 by Mgr. Dusina, was rebuilt in the 17th century and re-opened in 1754 for regular service. Presently it is being used for Perpetual Adoration.
Kirkop - St.Nicholas
The first church rose in 1460 and was rebuilt in 1658. In and around it are buried the victims of the plague of 1592. The cemetery is still in use nowadays.
Lija - Tal-Abbati
At Hal Mann, known as Tal-Abbati (Acolyte) in regular use. This cemetery is in a sort of island surrounded by access roads. Pictures Right.
A small enclave of cemetery which took the bodies of those that died of cholera in the 19th century. Picture Right.
Luqa - St.Thomas
Built to take victims of the 1676 plague. Extended in 1933 and blessed in 1939.
Luqa - Plague cemetery (Wied Knejjes)
A cemetery for plague victims was built at the end of the 16th century on land owned by Mariano Taliana near a church that used to exist up to 1771 when it was dismantled on the Bishop's orders. In 1980 this small cemetery was cleaned up and a commemorative plaque erected. It also contains some old statues that used to be on the old Parish church Parvis.
Luqa - Plague cemetery.
On Valletta road lies another small cemetery for victims of the 1850 Plague epidemic that contains between 13 and 43 graves.
Luqa - St.Thomas / Our Lady of Victory
Two chapels from 1592-3 were dismantled from a cemetery under the orders of Bishop Pellerano in 1771. The bones were collected in an urn and three statues from the chapels placed on the wall around the entrance, two of which do not exist any more.
Below: #1 Painting of St.Thomas Chapel, #2 Early 20th Cent, #3 Nowadays.
A small cemetery in use
Inside, the pavement is formed of marble-inlaid tombstones covering the graves of bishops and other members of the Cathedral chapter. They carry their coats of arms and inscriptions.
Mdina Our Lady of Carmel
Underneath this old church there is also a Crypt.
In use serving the town of Mellieha. It sits on a ledge below the back of the Parish Church overlooking Ghadira Bay. This cemetery is administered by the Civil Authorities.
Mellieha Mother of Mercy
Another smaller cemetery in Mellieha which used to be a Military cemetery is nowadays used for the local population. It is also administered by the Civil Authorities.
A cemetery for the local population. It is administered by the Civil Authorities.
A crypt exists below the Mosta Rotunda parish church. Picture Right....
Duramblat in use by the population of the area and administered by the Civil Authorities.
Mosta - St.Margaret of Antioch
Near a very small chapel erected before 1577 and rebuilt in 1771 is the cemetery where victims of the 1592 plague are buried.
Mosta - St.Mary taz-Zejfi
On the outskirts in an area called il-Bisbezija this small cemetery built in 1607 is near an earlier chapel rebuilt in the 17th century.
Mqabba - Jesus of Nazareth
The cemetery and chapel were built in 1910 and dedicated to Jesus of Nazareth. The facility is still in regular use nowadays.
Mqabba - St.Basil and St.Michael
In front of these two 15th and 16th century side by side churches, there is a cemetery of the plague of 1675 now covered in concrete. An ornate memorial with a plaque and some statues on top erected in 1778 near St.Michael, commemorates the cemetery. Picture on Right.
Mqabba - Our Lady of Sorrows
The chapel dates from the 16th century and was enlarged in 1680. Renovated again in 1814, it has a deep parvis in front under which is said to be an old cemetery from the time of the Plague.
Naxxar - St.George
The cemetery was built between 1932 and 1935; Mass is celebrated daily in the chapel from Monday to Friday at 4.30 p.m.
Qormi - Resurrection
Serves both Qormi parishes and run jointly by Church and Civil authorities. The chapel was built in 1991 and Mass is celebrated here every first Monday of the month.
Small cemetery near St.Catherine chapel built in 1624 with the chapel itself.
Tal-Ghars.This cemetery in Qrendi saw its first burial in 1891 and its last in 1948. The cemetery received those dying from infectious diseases from the Villages of Qrendi and Mqabba.
Rabat - St Cataldus
Under the church of St Cataldus there is a crypt and beneath this crypt there is also an earlier Catacomb.
Rabat - St.Margaret
Run by the Civil Authorities it is in regular use by the people of Rabat. Pictures Right......
Rabat - St.Paul.
In 1336, Bishop Hilarius already mentions this church with its Crypt and Cemetery built over the old city's Roman ditch. Nowadays this crypt lies under St Paul's Collegiate Church. It has its separate entrance from outside.
Rabat - Nativity of the Virgin Mary
A cemetery adjoins the 'ta' Qasgha' church built about 1550 and rebuilt 150 years later.
Rabat - Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin - Tal-Virtu
This recently restored church also has a Crypt.
Rabat - St.Anthony
Cemetery with a chapel of the same name right below Mdina on the Mosta road built before 1762. The cemetery and chapel have long been out of use and lay deteriorating. At one time it was even broken into and the altar destroyed by satanists. Lately the chapel was restored. Pictures Right....
Another unused cemetery right below Mdina on the Mosta road is in a sorry state overgrown with cane plants.
Rahal Gdid - Civil Prison
Kordin prisons contain a small cemetery of eight graves which is still in use.
Rahal Gdid - Our Lady of Sorrows 'Addolorata'
Built between 1862 and 1868 on Tal-Horr hill which had already been a burial ground since prehistoric times, this monumental cemetery the largest on the islands, has a beautiful Gothic Chapel unique in Malta. From 1869 onwards, burials in churches were prohibited except for special cases as Bishops and Cloistered nuns. This cemetery is full of old Mausoleums and statues in marble and bronze and was extended in the 70s. The chapel is run by the Capuchin friars of Marsa under the Authority of the department of Health. Its architect was E.Luigi Galizia, the same person who designed the Ta Braxia Protestant cemetery.
The early 1900's bronze statue above lies over the graves of a mother who died and that of her son who passed away in her lap broken hearted when he came home to find her dead.
'Addolorata' from the air
Safi - Our Lady of Fatima
A cemetery currently in use and which lies in the centre of Safi village.
San Gwann - Mensija - Annunciation and St Leonard
This old church which is partly troglodytic, has a crypt. Picture Right....
San Pawl - Our Lady of Sorrows
This cemetery caters for the area and was extended in 2002.
Senglea - Kandlora
The small Church adjacent to the Parish church was first built in 1750 in place of a St.Roque church of 1675 and a cemetery for those who died of the plague.
Siggiewi - Our Lady of Carmel
A fairly sized cemetery with a chapel in current use by the people of Siggiewi. A plaque states it was built in 1937 on architect A.E.Vassallo's plan.
Siggiewi - San Teodoro
An old cemetery also known by the name of 'Ta' Brija' refering to the name of the locality, lies on the outskirts of Siggiewi just at the base of the hill with a huge cross Is-Salib tal-Gholja. It is nowadays in complete abandon and thickly overgrown with tall cane plants which prevent anyone from recognizing any of the graves.
Turn of the century when still in use
Swatar - Mater Dei
Malta's new Hospital, apart from the main chapel where Masses are celebrated, has also a Mortuary chapel. Picture Below.......
Tarxien - The Risen Christ (All Souls)
The old chapel built in 1754, which existed in the Tarxien cemetery was too small for visitors, and so in 1964 a larger elliptical shaped church dedicated to the Risen Christ was started. The architect, in planning the new church, was inspired by the remains of the neolithic temples nearby. This chapel serves the nearby population for the regular Liturgies. It was consecrated on the 13th December 2002.
Valletta St.John co-Cathedral
On the left side of the Valletta Cathedral of St.John, lies the common grave or ossuary of many of the knights who died during the Great Seige and were disinterred from different places to be brought here when Valletta was built. The knights who died after have their graves in the floor of the cathedral itself while the Grand - Masters have special monuments on the sides or are buried in the crypt
Valletta - The chapel of bones
A crypt beneath the Nibbia chapel at the end of the Sacred Infirmary was decorated with the bones of those who died at the infirmary. It was hit during WWII enemy action and the chapel above dismantled after 1953. Only some ruins remain.
Zabbar - Our Lady of Mercy Tal-Hniena
This chapel is part of the parish cemetery which has been in use since the 1676 plague. The chapel itself is used for funerary services and other Masses during the year.
Zebbug - Sacred Heart and St.Andrew
Partly built in 1676 as a cemetery for plague victims, it is actually two cemeteries side by side. St.Andrew is administered by the Civil authorities. No more burials had taken place here since 1936 until it was recently enlarged and re-opened.
Zebbug - St.Roque church
Built during the plague of 1592 together with a small cemetery, it is 24ft long and was in use up to 1959. In 1980 it was given to the society Din l-Art Helwa which took care to restore it and change it into a cultural museum for the town.
Zejtun - Holy Spirit
Under this chapel is a crypt where in the past there used to be burials.
Zejtun - St.Catherine (St.Gregory)
The old parish church dates from 1437. The original was built in the 12th century. In front, it has a cemetery in regular use and underneath there is a crypt. This church was modified over the ages and has some ’Äòsecret’Äô corridors. In one of these, a pile of human bones was discovered, most probably the corridor being used as an ossuary in the past when the dead used to be buried in the churches themselves.
Zejtun - St.Mary Church - (tal-Hlas)
A cemetery for unbaptized babies used to exist annexed to this church. Actually 'tal-Hlas' means 'of those in labour'.
Zejtun - Oratory of the Blessed Sacrament
A crypt exists below this Oratory beside the parish church. Picture Right.....
Zejtun - (Under the Parish Church)
Another crypt exists beneath the main church on the opposite side of the Oratory.
Zejtun - St.Roque
A cemetery in this town which is in regular use.
Zurrieq - Annunciation
This is a 1450s medieval church and was the parish church of Hal Millieri. It is situated within a walled cemetery. When the village ceased to exist the church was left derelict. It was restored together with the cemetery in the last few decades and is now held in trust by Din l-Art Helwa.
Zurrieq - Pope Leo X
The church of Pope Leo X is situated within a cemetery at Zurrieq and is from before 1575. It was closed in 1658 but reopened twenty years later after extensive restoration work. It contains a very old painting on wood said to belong to a chapel which from 1343 to 1575 existed on the tiny Filfla rock - (See section on Troglodytic Churches). Mass is celebrated in St. Leo's church on All Souls Day, on Father's Day and on Mother's Day
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission of the U.K. is responsible for marking and maintaining the graves of those members of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars, for building and maintaining memorials to the dead whose graves are unknown and for providing records and registers of these 1.7 million burials and commemorations.
The Commonwealth war burials in Malta are unlike those found anywhere else. Many joint and collective burials were made as graves had to be cut into the rock underlying the island's shallow earth crust particularly hazardous work during the air-raids of the Second World War. These graves are usually marked by flat tablets that could take several inscriptions and, for the sake of uniformity, the same type of marker was used for single graves. Most of the Commonwealth war burials were made in existing military cemeteries, sometimes in distinct plots, but also scattered among the non-war graves. A few will be found in civil burial grounds.
Capuccini (Naval) cemetery.
Situated in the east of Malta, close to the Grand Harbour complex behind Kalkara. Among those buried here are 44 men from HMS Egmont, the Depot ship at Malta, and 22 who died when HMS Russell was sunk by a mine off Malta in April 1916. Most of the 694 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War are also in the Protestant section in a plot near the entrance, but there is another group in the Roman Catholic section. The rest are scattered. The Commission also cares for 1,445 non-war burials in the cemetery, and 137 war graves of other nationalities.
* A gravestone at Capuccini Cemetery says: 'Here buried are those members of the British Services and their families who died between 1865 and 1913 and were formerly interred in Rinella Military cemetery.'
* Another one states: 'This grave contains the remains of unknown persons originally interred at the old British Services Cemetery Floriana during the period 1801 - 1825' From the dates indicated, these persons were from the oldest part of the Floriana cemetery but there is no information when these remains were removed, nor their names. Different plaques outside denote the different nationalities buried here and in which war. These of course apart from the British and some Maltese servicemen.
FLORIANA BASTIONS CEMETERIES
The Quarantine Bastion Cemetery was the largest, but there were also the Cholera Cemetery, Msida Bastion Cemetery and the Greek Orthodox Cemetery.
The Quarantine Bastion Cemetery was enlarged in 1843, but was full by 1868. After the last burials were made in 1868/1869 the cemetery became neglected.
Bodies interred in Msida Bastion Cemetery tend to be the upper class civilians, and senior Army and Navy officers. However, this was not a hard and fast rule as the surviving records show. There is also some confusion caused by clergymen using imprecise names to distinguish between the cemeteries being used in this area.
Damage was caused to these cemeteries not only by time and neglect but also by enemy air raids in WWII. However, the greatest destruction of the Quarantine Bastion Cemetery took place in 1943, when it was decided to dump all the fallen debris and masonry from Floriana and Valletta, caused by the heavy bombing raids the previous year, on this site. This rubble in-fill operation covered the whole of the Quarantine Cemetery and brought it up to road level. It was left in this state until 1948/1950 when the authorities, after laying a carpet of topsoil, planted a number of olive trees.
In March 1966 work started on the construction of the Grand Hotel Excelsior on the site of old Quarantine Bastion Cemetery, and the matured 1940's olive trees were all cut down. The stone gate posts and boundary wall were also totally destroyed. The Grand Hotel Excelsior Hotel eventually closed down and had been pulled down. Construction commenced on a new hotel on the site in 1995 and the grounds were extended, taking in the land of the Cholera and Greek Orthodox Cemeteries. The new five star hotel opened for business on 1st October 2007.
In 1993 a team of volunteers from Din L'Art Helwa was assembled to restore the neglected and vandalized Msida Bastion Cemetery. Aid was given by the Environment and Agriculture Ministries of the Malta Government and the British High Commission, but most of the heavy manual labour was done by retired British residents. The work was finally finished in 2000 when the site was opened to the public and re-named as a Garden of Repose.
Top: An 1865 photo of the Floriana Bastions Cemeteries.
Top & Immidiate Right: Msida Bastion cemetery nowadays as restored.
Below: Location of the cemeteries on Floriana bastions.
Mtarfa Military Cemetery
On a hill opposite Rabat and Mdina, it occupies part of a complex that belonged to the Military until the 1970's. It contains 15 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and 238 from the Second World War. The Commission also cares for 1,203 non war graves within the cemetery, and one Dutch war grave.
Identified Casualties: 1,456
Pembroke Military Cemetery
Like Imtarfa, Pembroke area on the North side of Malta, is now being developed into residential buildings. The cemetery mostly contains graves from the garrison land force which included locally raised territorial units. Anti-aircraft artillery batteries suffered particularly heavily. It also contains the Pembroke Memorial which commemorates more than 50 Second World War casualties buried elsewhere on Malta where their graves could not be maintained and more than 300 which were situated near barracks and camps.
Pieta Military Cemetery
Situated in Gwardamangia as one is descending the hill to Pieta, it has 1,303 Commonwealth casualties of the First World War buried or commemorated in it, including 20 Indian servicemen who were cremated at Lazaretto Cemetery. Second World War burials number 166. The Commission also cares for 772 non-war graves in the cemetery and 15 war graves of other nationalities. This Cemetery was, historically, the island's principal garrison cemetery. It contains more than 150 Second World War burials, but these are vastly outnumbered by the 1,300 graves from the First World War.
Identified Casualties: 2,254
Rock Gate Cemetery - Bormla
As soon as the British forces came to Malta in the early 1800's, they set up in the area around the Grand Harbour with its fortifications. Soon more personnel were stationed here and the need for more cemetery space was felt.
For those around the Three Cities opposite Valletta, an area close to the outer bastions was selected, close to the naval dockyard to be used especially by the Navy and ancillary trades. Being of limited space it soon filled up after a few decades, covered up and the one at Bighi used instead.
The whole area around the harbour was heavily bombed in WWII and the old cemetery took a few hits, then from 1947 to 1950, reconstruction of the surrounding area claimed another chunk with the widening of roads leading to Zabbar.
Only a few pieces of headstone from Rock Gate Cemetery exist nowadays, preserved at the Msida Bastion Cemetery.
Already mentioned under the town Paola, is another significant First World War cemetery with 250 Commonwealth graves from the period.
After some cemeteries in Malta were re-developed for other purposes, any remains were brought to Kalkara (Capuccini) cemetery, and re-interred in mass graves.
Located about halfway between Kalkara Naval Cemetery and Bighi Hospital was used by British Servicemen and their families from 1865 to 1916. In 1978 any remains were transferred to Kalkara (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery into a Mass Grave.
A gravestone at Capuccini Cemetery says: 'Here buried are those members of the British Services and their families who died between 1865 and 1913 and were formerly interred in Rinella Military cemetery.'
Bighi Royal Naval Hospital had its own cemetery within its boundaries.
A gravestone at Capuccini Cemetery says: 'This stone stands in memory of those originally interred in the cemetery of the Royal Naval Hospital, Bighi, in the years 1846 to 1901. Their names are forever recorded in a memorial book in the church of St. Oswald, Royal Naval Hospital, Malta.'
Bighi hospital nowadays
Bighi Cemetery in 1902
Gozo - Ghajnsielem
Fort Chambray Military Cemeteries:
Three cemeteries were located in and around Fort Chambray, all from around 1800. A Protestant cemetery inside the Fort itself near the doctor's quarters, and two in the ditches outside, one for Roman Catholics on the left and one for Protestants on the right of the main entrance. In the early 1990's, permission to develop the Fort and surrounding area into a holiday complex was given and the cemetery inside the Fort was cleared of human remains in 1991. These were re-interred in individual graves in the Xewkija cemetery. Pictures Below.
A cemetery built for the population of the village of Ghajnsielem .
A cemetery with its own chapel on the side of the Visitation church (Taz-Zejt).
Ghasri / Gharb
Within sight of the village parish church, this cemetery is square in shape and has a fairly simple chapel. Picture on Right.....
A cemetery to cater for the people of the town of Nadur exists already but is surrounded by residential buildings and cannot expand to meet the demand. Permission was granted in 2007 for a new cemetery to be developed. 600 graves will radiate from a modern chapel which will be the focal point. Old cemetery far Right and Concept pictures of new immidiate Right.....
Qala - Immaculate Conception
On the way to Hondaq ir-Rummien, the church dates back to before 1575. The cemetery beside it is still in full use by the inhabitants of Qala. Adjacent to the church there is a cemetery chapel.
A cemetery for the population of the area in the vicinity of Dwejra.
Sannat - St.Margaret
The people of Sannat have this village cemetery to cater for their dead.
Rabat - St.Augustine
In Rabat, the main town, there used to be an Angevin (from feudal times) Cemetery from 1270. Nowadays there is only a stone cross in front of St Augustine Church to mark the place. In the early 1940s, this cemetery, together with the old chapel of St John Evangelist, was levelled and the Salesian Don Bosco complex built in its place.
In front of St.Martha's Church, a cemetery for Cholera victims called 'Tal-Infetti'. A rectangular pillar with the embossed sculpture of souls in Purgatory, denotes the existence of a cemetery nearby.
Photo Times of Malta
In 1492 the Franciscan friars were entrusted with the Chapel of St.Mark in Rabat, by the bishop of Malta Mons.Paolo de la Cavaleria. A cemetry for the nobility existed in front of the same chapel and a stone cross marked the boundry of the said cemetry.
Rabat - Citadel cemetery
In 1607 Vittorio Cassar the son of the famous architect Gerolamo Cassar, constructed two tombs one for himself and another for the poor near the small chapel of St.Barbara. In 1889 the authorities revoked the burial permit. In 1934 it was taken over by the Cathedral Chapter as a cemetery for its canons and priests. Eventually even this practice came to an end and nowadays St. Mary's cemetery outside the bastions, has enough space for all the deceased of Victoria.
Nativity of Our Lady (ta' Savina): According to A Ferres, This church was used for burials. It also used to have a Cemetery attached to it.
Xaghra - St.Anthony Abbot
This is one of the oldest churches in Gozo reported to exist in 1400. Rebuilt in 1601, it includes an adjacent cemetery and parvis. It subsequently became the first parish church of Xaghra on 28th April 1688 and continued to serve as such until 1692. After the plague of 1814, which took 104 victims, certain articles within the church were burnt in order to disinfect the place.
Village cemetery in regular use. Beside the functioning present day cemetery there are two other cemeteries, one for each of the 1814 and 1837 plagues.
Two cemeteries in regular use.
St.John Baptist for the people of Xewkija itself
Photo top Right......
St.Mary for the use of people from Rabat (Victoria), Fontana and Kerchem parishes. This cemetery is administered by the civil authorities.
Photos bottom Right......
Built in 1966, this cemetery is in regular use.
Even on this tiny island one can find a fairly small, old cemetery surrounded by four low walls on top of a hill.
A larger cemetery for non Christians where many Muslims, Jews and other denominations are buried.
Top row: Newer extension
Bottom row: Older section.