|St.Paul Metropolitan Cathedral
This Cathedral was for about 300 years the only large church on the island. There was certainly a cathedral church built here by 1299. The building, erected during the Norman period, (according to tradition on the site of the house of Publius the first Bishop), suffered considerable damage in the earthquake of lst January 1693. Rebuilt by Lorenzo GafˆÝ it was dedicated on the 8th October 1702. Inside, the pavement of marble-inlaid tombstones carries the coats of arms and inscriptions of bishops and other members of the Cathedral chapter. In the choir behind the main altar is Mattia Preti's monumental painting of The Conversion of St.Paul. It was in the original Norman church, and survived the earthquake. From the old Cathedral there is also a bell and the door (originally an outside one), leading into the sacristy.
|An old painting of how the old cathedral looked, in the Grandmasters palace Valletta.|
|Plans of the old (Left) and new (Right) cathedral.|
|Left: Evolution of the area around the cathedral between the 15th and 19th centuries.
Right: Inside the cathedral.
Below: Cathedral of St.Paul from various angles and the Sanctuary.
Chapel in the old Seminary (Now the Cathedral Museum) built in 1744. In the 18th century, the building used to be the residence of the Bishop and the Chapel stood in the garden of the property. Its titular picture by Favray is kept in the same museum.
Bishop Domenico Cubelles, during his episcopate, disallowed all public worship in this small church which stood in front of the Cathedral Church's entrance. Its burthens in 1575 were transferred to St Scolastica Monastery.
|Assumption Ta' Donna Manna
The Falzon family had endowed this church with an ecclesiastical living. Its foundress was Agata de Falzon. This foundation was registered in the records of Notary Luca Sillato on the 23rd February 1466. In 1634 this church was formally closed down and its site incorporated into a square adjacent to the new sacristy of the Cathedral built in 1626. This same site was later included in the 'building of the baroque Cathedral behind the Annunciation altar.
|Deposition of Christ
This was a chapel in the prisons of the old court still existing in 1780. By 1866 it was already out of use and deconsecrated according to A Ferres.
|Nativity of Our Lady Sta Maria de Porta
This church Nativity of our Lady church is mentioned by Mons.Dusina standing near the old entrance of Mdina. Mass was celebrated here occasionally for the benefit of nearby labourers. The inquisitor closed it, considering it too small and uncomfortable. It existed till 1725. When Grand Master Antoine Manoel de Vilhena built the Magisterial Palace of Mdina, this church was demolished and rebuilt on a site previously occupied by a church dedicated to the Holy Cross. (See St.Roque further down).
|Mdina main entrance circa 1725|
|Our Lady of Carmel Della Rocca - tal-Blat
A church dedicated to the Nativity of Our Lady was already in existence at this site in 1575. For some time it housed within it a communal school. During the 1650's, its site was granted to the Carmelite Friars by Bishop Belaguer to build thereon part of their new priory and church and was substituted by a side chapel in this church. Their new church built in 1659 was designed by Francesco Sammut and the interior has seven altars. It is unexpectedly rich despite the French army's looting it to fund Napoleon's wars in 1798. It served as parish church during the rebuilding of the Cathedral after the earthquake. This church also has a museum with an Oratory in it.
|Our Lady of Carmel church 'Della Rocca' tal-Blat|
|Below: Museum Oratory|
|Our Lady of Itria
The earliest reference to a church dedicated to the Hodigitria in Malta, traced so far, goes back to 1551. An old church dedicated to her stood near the Greeks' Gate at Mdina. Its location here may indicate a relation ship between her cult and the Greek community which could have existed in those neighbourhoods of the old city.
Our Lady of Monserrat
The Inguanez chapel adjacent to the old cathedral in 1629 was being used as a store room for the furnishings and equipment used during the Holy Week and was canonically deconsecrated in 1634. Antonio Galea Feriol provided for a new chapel in the cathedral itself with all its needs, including Mattia Preti's altar piece and the marble decoration.
The church is first mentioned in 1436 and later records say that the church was completely abandoned, but again in the 16th century we find that the church was well-kept and endowed. At the beginning of the last century the church ceased to exist although parts of it were incorporated in private buildings. The church was not far away from the Cathedral and the name of a street there recalls its existence, also a Statue of Our Saviour in a niche at the corner of the same street. Please see map of area around the Cathedral through the ages, further up.
The church was built in 1417 and rebuilt in 1694 by Lorenzo Gafa. It has always been well-kept and today belongs to the Seminary. It has been recently restored.
|Church of St.Agatha|
This chapel is situated in Palazzo Falson, a 13th Century palace, which was lately restored and opened to the public.
|Chapel of St.Angelo in Palazzo Falson|
|St.Benedict St.Peter's Monastery
In 1418 the ancient hospital of St.Peter became a Monastery for Benedictine nuns. Renovated and enlarged in 1625, the chapel received the relics of St.Felicissima in 1833 from the Catacomb of St.Cyriaca in Rome. The altarpiece is the work of Mattia Preti.
This church, together with another one dedicated to St.Margaret, was demolished in 1551 to leave an open space at the back of the Greeks' Gate.
|St.Nicholas Gnien il-Far
The church was already in existence in 1434 and rebuilt in 1685, most probably by Lorenzo Gafa. In 1762 it was in good shape when Mons. B.Rull. visited. Nowadays the church is more or less used as a store for Cathedral furnishings among which is the old Cathedral wooden Cappella Ardente or setup for solemn funerals.
|St.Peter in Chains
According to a report by Bishop Royas, the church of St.Peter 'ad vincula' was a very old one but was rebuilt in 1580 after Mons. Dusina's visit. It took over 30 years to be rebuilt but then it was well kept by those in charge. During WWII it was taken over by refugees from the Grand Harbour area. It was restored in 1956 and provided with a titular picture depicting St.Peter in chains, painted by Caffaro Rore'. Nowadays it is used by various organizations for their meetings.
|St.Peter in Chains|
Since 1393 a church dedicated to the Holy Cross existed were today there is the church of Our Lady of Light. An old church of the Holy Cross was demolished in 1681 and a church dedicated to St.Roque was built in its place in 1798. A small painting of Our Lady of Light was put in it and soon the church became commonly known by that name.
|Church of St.Roque|
This church in Via Lunga could have been in existence long before 1575. In 1598, its wooden altar piece, representing Our Lady flanked by St Elisabeth and St Joseph, was considered already very old. Francesca, widow of Angelo Inguanez founded here an ecclesiastical living in 1602. The church was rebuilt several times, the last time being 1720. At present it is kept closed.
|Church of the Visitation|
|BENEFICES OF THE CATHEDRAL OF MDINA
A number of churches also exist, which, though not situated in the territory of Mdina as such, that is within the walls of the city, also pertain to the Cathedral as Benefices.
Please check these within the boundaries of the particular parishes they lie in:
ATTARD - Nativity of Our Lady - lies on the Rabat Road at Attard.
MOSTA - St.Paul - situated on the outskirts of Mosta.
Our Lady of Hope - on the outskirts of Mosta.
RABAT - St.James - situated below Buskett Gardens.
SIGGIEWI - St.Blaise - lies on the side of the Siggiewi-Rabat Road.