The third Cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe
The Church was built between 1839 and 1844 and financed by the Dowager Queen Adelaide, widow of King William IV and aunt of Queen Victoria. It is one of three Cathedrals of the Anglican Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe that covers more than 150 chaplaincies in the whole of Europe, Morocco, Turkey and Mongolia. The Religious building is called “Pro-Cathedral” because it is a subsidiary cathedral for the Southern and Eastern Europe. The main cathedral of the Diocese is in Gibraltar whereas the other subsidiary cathedral is located in Brussel (for Northern and Western Europe). Built with Maltese limestone in a neo-classic style, the bell tower with its spire at the north-west corner rises over 60 meters and is a well-known Valletta landmark.
The interior of the Cathedral
1) The high altar
Once in the church, you’ll notice on your left the high altar with the altarpiece depicting Christ being mocked by Roman soldiers before his crucifixion. The panels on the sides list the armed forces and ships involved in the second siege of Malta (1940-1943).
2) bishop’s throne
It’s the place where the bishop takes his seat during his visit to Malta.
3) Memorial Panel
It’s a War Memorial panel and book of the merchant navy. Here, you’ll notice a photograph of Winston Churchill that commemorates the 50th anniversary of his death and dedicated to on November 2015 in the presence of Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburg).
4) 19th-century relics
At the end of the aisle, you’ll find a showcase containing relics dating back to the 19th century. Amonsgt them, there are the trowel and mallet with which Queen Adelaide laid the foundation stone in 1839.
At the back of the Church is located the baptistry with a canopied font. Behind it, you’ll notice panels covered with silk used at the coronation of King George IV. Besides the font, panels are displaying Britain’s history in Malta as well as the origins of the Church.
6) Exhibits from the recent history
Close to the Baptistry, in the corner of the left aisle, there is a showcase displaying exhibits from recent history.
7) Royal air force flags
Walking along the corridor, you’ll see flags and panels, and in a frame the flag of the royal air force which flew over Luqa airfield during the WW II.
8) Lady Chapel
This tiny chapel is used for small services and reservation of the sacrament. On the left wall, you’ll notice a small tablet (it dates back to 1571), a relic icon of the German knight’s Auberge, on the site of which st paul’s was built. On the right wall, there is the icon of the blessed virgin Mary, given by the Chaplains of the 8th army and used by British Forces in Italy during the WW II.
10) Organ and coat of arms
Reached the pulpit again, on the left side you’ll find the organ, carved initially for Chester cathedral in 1678. Hanging over the entrance door is the Standard and Coat of Arms of Queen Adelaide.
|Need to Know|
Opening time: the Cathedral is open daily from 10 am until 5 pm; free entrance.