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Co-cathedral of St John, Valletta in Valletta

Valletta Monuments and Historic Buildings: Co-cathedral of St John, Valletta

Info about Co-cathedral of St John, Valletta

Rating: 3.4 5
Rank: 20 About 28
Number of ratings: 1

Category: Monument and Historic Building
Address: Valletta,Malta

St. John's Co-Cathedral is located in Valletta in Malta and was built by the knights of Malta between 1573 and 1578. This church was designed by the Maltese military architect, Glormu Cassar who has similarly designed many more prominent buildings in Valletta. This cathedral was a conventual church of the Hospitallers, the knights of Saint John. This cathedral is a gem of collections of Baroque art and architecture.

Reviews Co-cathedral of St John, Valletta

Reviewed by: Editorial Staff



St. John Cathedral

St. John Cathedral in Valletta, absolutely one of the first Baroque style architectural structure, was achieved by the Maltese Gerolamo Cassar between 1573 and 1577, under the request of the Order of St. John’s knights. Mattia Preti was born in Calabria in 1613 and painted the vault ceiling and the lateral altars with pictures of St. John’s life. The most important work of art in the church is the “Beheading of Saint John the Baptist”, painted by Caravaggio, exile in Malta, in 1608.

Reviewed by: Bob Gauci



Co-cathedral of St John, Valletta

The most important monument from the time of the Order of St John. There isthe greatest masterpiece of Caravaggio.

Reviewed by: Editorial Staff



Co-cathedral of St John, Valletta

St John’s Cathedral is the highlight of the Maltese Islands. However short your stay on the Islands, this cathedral of the Knights of St John is a must to visit. Described as the first complete example of the high baroque anywhere, it epitomises the role – spiritual and military - of its patrons.

The austere façade is reminiscent of the fortifications of Valletta, the fortress city in which it stands; while the exuberant and lavish baroque interior shows the Knights’ deep appreciation and patronage of culture and the arts.

The Cathedral is testimony to the talent of Maltese military architect, Gerolamo Cassar, and to Mattia Preti, the Calabrian artist and Knight. Preti designed the intricate carved stone walls and painted the vaulted ceiling and side altars with scenes from the life of St John. The Cathedral houses also one of Europe’s most impressive and famous art works, Caravaggio’s Beheading of St John the Baptist.
The Cathedral is a shrine to the Knights in another sense. Many sons of Europe’s noble families from the 16th to 18th centuries lie buried here. Their intricate, marble-inlaid tombstones form a magnificently crafted pavimento.
The inscriptions relate the story of the lives and valiant deeds of the Order.

Sir Walter Scott, in Malta in 1831, called the Cathedral the most magnificent place he had ever seen. It is certainly a spectacular building and a fitting resting place for the founder of Valletta, Grand Master Jean Parisot de la Vallette. His tomb lies in the crypt, a quiet sanctuary and place of contemplation away from the busy streets outside.


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