Chapels & Churches

Chapel of Santa Marija Ta’ Żejfi (The Assumption of St Mary)

The small chapel known as Santa Marija Ta’ Żejfi had an accompanying cemetery and is dedicated to the Assumption of St. Mary.  The original structure was built in the 16th century. The chapel was rebuilt in 1607 by GioMaria Camenzuli known as the ‘Taż-Żejfi’, from whom the present name of the chapel derives.  The architecture of this rural wayside chapel is very simple and consists of a rectangular room with one altar inside.  It was restored in 1989.

 

Chapel of San Pawl tal-Qlejja (St. Paul’s Shipwreck)

This interesting chapel found in the Qlejja or Qlejgħa Valley, is dedicated to the Shipwreck of St. Paul and was re-built in 1690 in a light Baroque architectural style.  It is used for celebrating Mass and serves especially the people from the neighbouring area.  An important and interesting feature connected with this chapel is a collection of graffiti of ships and other subjects which cover the outside walls.  These are ex-voto etchings left by the faithful in past centuries and which are still well preserved.

 

Chapel of Santa Margerita (St. Margaret)

This chapel of the 16th century consists of a small single room structure which once stood alone in the middle of a rocky plain.  It is today in the centre of a housing estate that has taken its name from this chapel.  This chapel comes with its own cemetery where the victims of the plague of 1592 had been buried.  One gravestone from those times is preserved inside the chapel.  It seems that this church was rebuilt in 1771.  It underwent restoration works during the 1990s and is today still used by the local community for some functions.

 

Chapel of San Pawl Eremita (St. Paul the Hermit)

This small chapel is situated in a cave in the Wied il-Għasel Valley in a picturesque setting. Within the built chapel one finds a second, troglodytic chapel set within an inner cave.  The chapel is linked to the legend of St. Corrado who is said to have lived here and who after being accused unjustly by the local community was constrained to leave the area to escape from this harassment.  A water spring is also a well-known feature related to this chapel and in the past many came to draw from its water as it was thought to be beneficial for their health.

 

Chapel of Il-Madonna tal-Isperanza (Our Lady of Good Hope)

This chapel is one of the most famous and loved chapel in Mosta.  Its interior is magnificently Baroque and there is a painting by the renowned Maltese artist Giuseppe Calì. Underneath the chapel there is a cavern to which is tied the famous legend of the young girl who escaped from capture by Barbary corsairs by hiding inside this cave and being concealed by a cobweb. This escape was attributed to the intervention of the Virgin Mary.  This chapel was built upon this cave around 1761.

 

Chapel of San Silvestru (St. Sylvester)

This small chapel was built in 1657 by Sylvester Fiteni, a Knight of the Order of St. John, and dedicated to Pope St. Sylvester, the namesake of the patron.  Though today it is situated in the middle of a busy thoroughfare, this was not always case.  The architecture is simple but elegant and though small, the inside is pleasantly decorated and includes a fine altarpiece. 

 

Basilica of Sta. Marija Assunta

Mosta’s parish church, also known as the Rotunda or the Mosta Dome, is one of the largest and most famous churches in Malta.  It was designed by architect George Grognet de Vassé who got his inspiration from the Pantheon of Rome.  Though not liked by the Bishop of Malta, the church plans were well received by the Mosta parish priest and by the Mostin in general. Though the building permit was granted in 1832, due to a debate regarding the soundness of the design which took some time to decide, the first stone was laid in 1833.

The Rotunda has a diameter of 55.20 metres on the outside and 39.60 metres on the inside. The main façade faces south and has six columns in the Ionic style.  The large majestic dome is built on the principle of the catenary profile, meaning that each stone is laid over the one underneath it and thus holds it in place.

By 1860 the new church was basically ready and in one week (18 to 26 February 1860) the older church, which it was to replace and which was still standing within the Rotunda, was dismantled.  Along the years the Rotunda was decorated and embellished with works of art as can be seen in present times.  It was elevated to the status of Minor Basilica on 29 July 2018.