A visit to St. John's Co-Cathedral and a last walk around Valletta

Valletta Travel Blog

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I press snooze a couple of times, interrupted sleep, again. I am up by 8:45, anyway. It's partly cloudy, a few of then even black and windy. Annie tells me to take a jacket. She insists. I have my breakfast quickly. I only have until 1pm. My flight is at 3pm.

My first stop is St. John's Co-Cathedral. This was the headquarters of the Knights of St. John after they were driven out of Rhodes. I'd heard so many superlatives concerning the interior that I was giddy with anticipation. The Pope at the time sent Michelangelo to design the whole interior. That should speak to it's importance and

My first sight of the interior, I knew everything I had heard was true. This space is extraordinarily detailed.......to the extreme. It is a work of art, though, not gaudy. So much design, so many reliefs and carvings that cover almost every surface.

There are many chapels of the nave that are dedicated to different special orders. The ceiling is filled with frescoes telling of the amazing history and importance of this church. They are oriented in horizontal bands across the ceiling, different. The art in this church has to be some of the most important in Europe. I enter a special toom with special paintings all by Michelandego. Was this place his ultimate masterpiece? I linger and take it all in. Every one  studies the room and it's contents in respectful silence. There is so much inspiration here. He must have been so proud of this design.

I leave the St..Johns and head toward the harbor to the north. I stop at St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral and the Carmelite Monastary that are here. I enter and the caretaker requests a donation of 1 euro for entry.

I have .97 euro on me...that was all. He accepts it with a smile. The dome is simple, painted white but, the space is still grand. There is amazing work here. The old man tells me to go up to the altar and look. It is fantastic, the marble and metal structure, quite creative. They are in the process of removing the extra decorations from the celebration, yesterday.

I leave and walk the street market which has everything from socks to tourist t-shirts. I  head back to the Cafe Sicilia, where I had lunch on the first day in Valletta. I can get a nutritious meal and a great view of the Grand Harbor, Vittoriosa, Senglea, and beyond. The perfect place for a last meal in Valletta. It's sunny, now. I think about the view infront of me. Beautiful really doesn't describe it. The geography and history combine to make this so special. Many things converged to make Valletta and Malta significant and magnificent.


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photo by: Vikram