Churches have always fascinated me. They are not only the architectural masterpieces of their time, but they also provide a glimpse of the everyday life of a person who lived centuries ago. I can easily imagine how men, women and children have arrived to their local church on every Sunday, wearing their best clothes. I can relate to them and imagine, how small they must have felt when entering into these majestic buildings. That must have been one the main purpose of these monuments – to remind the ordinary people of their insignificance and imperfections in front of religion, church and the god. In churches, people have been able to see art and treasures that were beyond of everything they’ve ever seen before, and see and hear stories and promises about a world to which they might enter after their earthly life.
In that sense, I am really lucky to live in Malta, which has one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the whole of Europe. Built in honour of the John the Baptist in the 14th century, St John’s co-Cathedral is an architectural gem of the Baroque style. During centuries, the Grand Masters and several knights donated gifts of high artistic value and made enormous contributions to the church. This is the place, where you can really see the difference between riches of the Catholic church and scarcity of ordinary people. The cathedral is full of elaborate decorations, paintings, statues, altars and ornaments, most of them golden. When you step into the church, you feel like entering into a golden jewellery box, where you walk from one treasure to another.
The St John’s co-Cathedral is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Malta, so during the highest tourist season, prepare to wait in a line to get in. The entrance fee is 10 euros per adult, and that includes a free audio guide. Even though I think that 10 euros for the entrance is a bit high, this still is one of the most, if not the most, stunning cathedrals I have ever visited during my travels, and this place should be at the top of your things to see in Malta.
Monday to Friday: 09:30 to 16:30 (ticket office closes at 16:00)
Saturday: 09:30 to 12:30 (ticket office closes at 12:00)
Closed on Sundays and public holidays.