St. John’s Co-Cathedral

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    St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta.

    Commissioned in 1572 by Grand Master Jean de la Cassière as the conventual church of the Order of the Knights Hospitaller of St. John and designed by the celebrated Maltese military architect Gerolamo Cassar, St. John’s Co-Cathedral stands as a unique monument of international importance. The church is dedicated to St John the Baptist, the patron saint of the Order.

    Building was completed on St. John’s in 1577. The plain façade flanked by two large bell towers is austere and has the character of a fortress reflecting the sober mood of the Order after the Great Siege. The nave is 53 metres in length and 15 metres wide with side chapels on either side. These chapels were assigned to the various langues according to seniority. The French, Italian and Aragonese langues, being prominent, were placed closest to the altar.

    As the dawn of the 17th century ushered in the new Baroque style, Grand Master Cotoner ordered the redecoration of the Church’s interior. The Knights were eager to rival the great churches of Rome and the era’s flamboyant and demonstrative character provided ample material. They donated gifts of high artistic value and made enormous contributions to enrich it with only the best works of art by leading artists available to them.
    The interior was largely decorated by 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. Noteworthy is the fact that the carving was all undertaken in-place (in-situ) rather than being carved independently and then attached to the walls (stucco). The Maltese limestone from which the Cathedral is built lends itself particularly well to such intricate carving.

    In 1941, during the Second World War, St. John’s Co-Cathedral suffered severe damage as a result of a bombing attack over Valletta. Part of the Loggia on Merchants Street suffered most as the church narrowly escaped total annihilation. Fortunately, the contents had been transferred elsewhere in good time.

    Blackburn lad1, Lincolnian (Brian), and 5 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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    1. rogerdbi 58 months ago | reply

      This Great Photographic Art was made by a Diamond Class Photographer!
      Please add your photo to Flickr Diamond: The Diamond Class Photographer
      Read the group rules please and tag your photo DiamondClassPhotographer
      You may tag your photo again as flickrdiamond

    2. bazylek100 58 months ago | reply

      Thanks for the invite!

    3. Andra MB 58 months ago | reply

      Great place to take photos!

      Seen in 1-2-3 History!

    4. bazylek100 58 months ago | reply

      Unfortunately a little crowded!

    5. javirunner 58 months ago | reply


    6. derNubo 58 months ago | reply

      wonderful view and light!

    7. saigneurdeguerre 58 months ago | reply

      You are invited to add this wonderful photo to
      "Architectural Beauty !"

      Architectural Beauty !
      Please Invite other Architectural Favorites to this Group too !

    8. carlobaldino 58 months ago | reply


    9. mvanrenselaar [deleted] 58 months ago | reply

      Nice! i found it very hard to photograph because of the size, but also the light. You have definitely succeeded!

    10. bazylek100 58 months ago | reply

      Thanks! It certainly would be best to take photos there with a tripod and with no people around...

    11. [Ananabanana] 53 months ago | reply

      Love the detail in this image (and the description)

    12. GUIDEPACKER 40 months ago | reply

      Thank you for choosing creative commons license. This photo has been selected to be featured on soon. The image will appear with a link to this Flickr page and you will be given credit for taking such a great picture.
      If you do not want your photo to be used on our travel website, please let us know!

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