Saint John's Co-Cathedral

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St. John Street., Valletta, Malta

Saint John's Co-Cathedral Valletta Reviews

Maurizioago Maurizio…
556 reviews
The co - cathedral. Feb 18, 2017
This Baroque masterpiece was built between 1573 and 1577. It was commissioned by Grand Master Jean de la Cassiere as the conventual church of the Order of the Knights Hospitaller of St. John.

Outside it is a big building and rather plain. The interior was redecorated in Baroque style in the 17th century. Thus it is very elaborated. The nave is flanked on either sides by the chapels of the various Langues of the Order. The floor of the nave is almost covered with marble tomb stones, under which around 390 knights were buried. These tomb stones are decorated with angels, skeletons and other subjects.

The oratory houses two paintings by the Italian painter Caravaggio. One of this is titled "the beheading of Saint John".

The church has also a museum.

Once you bought your entrance ticket, you' ll be given a handheld audio guide; available in six languages.
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Vikram Vikram
296 reviews
Some call it a kaleidoscope of colours, some call it an eyesore. All said and done though, it's a must-visit Apr 26, 2016
No trip is complete to Malta without visiting the shining jewel in the heart of capital Valletta. A Cathedral, regarded as one of the world's most superior showcases of Baroque architecture, and for the casual tourist, provides an array of colours and gold to choose from - stunning doesn't cut it. Ostentatious sure does.

First off, trivia time: What is a "co-Cathedral"? Wiki says: A co-cathedral is a cathedral church which shares the function of being a bishop's seat, or cathedra, with another cathedral, often in another city (usually a former see and/or the civil capital).

So why is this called a Co-Cathedral? As you'll read in my blogs, St. Paul's Cathedral (I had the opportunity of visiting) in Mdina which was the archbishop's seat for a long, long time. That said, over time, this St.John's Church (yes, I said "Church") also started to grow in terms of prominence and the role it played in Maltese Christianity and hence, assumed the title of "Co-Cathedral".

The Cathedral contains nine rich chapels, one dedicated to Our Lady of Philermos and the rest dedicated to the patron saints of each of the Order's eight langues. There is a crypt and some fascinating artwork, including the "Beheading of St. John the Baptist".

The entrance provides you with a ticket good for both the church and the adjoining museum (no photos allowed in the museum). The church offers plenty of photo ops, if anything, it's filled with tourists and you hear more clicks of a camera versus chatter. The staff is very helpful and speak loads of languages.

All in all, highly highly recommended. Do visit...this alone will make the trip to Malta worthy!
The simply astounding Nave: I saw …
The Nave - even the floors have pa…
The Nave (proof I was there)
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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missandrea81 says:
WOW!
Posted on: Jun 30, 2016
anupa_rk says:
Co-Cathedral.. I learnt something new today!
Posted on: Jun 22, 2016
Vipin Vipin
691 reviews
High baroque Mar 02, 2013
Built during the sixteenth century by the Knights of Malta, this cathedral displays the high baroque style and is simply one of the nicest cathedrals I have seen. Every nook and cranny of the cathedral is lavishly decorated, and it is almost too much for the eyes. The Caravaggio painting towards the end – of John the Baptist getting beheaded – is just stunning. The canvas is huge and just displays a wonderful sense of darkness and sombreness. I was getting tired of the high decoration towards the end, and this final area with the Caravaggio was a nice way of finishing things up. The entrance fee was several Euros I think; a bit steep for a religious place. Nonetheless this provides you with an audio guide, and the commentary is very useful. This cathedral is surely one of the highlight religious sites in Malta – a must-see.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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rsvpme says:
I have made a point of seeing a lot of churches...this one.........is a testimony to man's desire to be a god.
Posted on: Mar 02, 2013

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photo by: Vikram