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Saint John's Co-Cathedral

Triq San Gwann, Il-Belt Valletta, Malta
| +356 2122 0536
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Be overwhelmed by the St John's Co Cathedral   Malta
A Golden Fresco   Malta
St. John's Co-Cathedral   Malta
Be overwhelmed by the St John's Co Cathedral   Malta
A Golden Fresco   Malta
St. John's Co-Cathedral   Malta

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Mon - Fri 9:30am - 4pm
Sat 9:30am - 12pm

Be overwhelmed by the St John's Co Cathedral

There are no words that can prepare you for the baroque interior of the St John's Co Cathedral in Malta. And that's a good thing, because the instant reaction as you step through the first set of doors is worth the admission price alone. I'm not going to spoil the surprise, and the picture above gives only a tiny hint of the decor you'll discover within; it's one of the most expensively, expansively decorated 17th century interiors in Europe, and if your eyes don't pop at the sight then you must be a Russian oligarch. Also within is Caravaggio's masterpiece, the Beheading of John the Baptist, as well as the interred bones and gloriously glorifying tombstones of the Knights of Malta. But don't read too much about it before you go. Just enjoy a historical experience in full technicolour.

More Recommendations

AFAR Ambassador
over 5 years ago

A Golden Fresco

Head to Valletta's famous Republica Street and into St. John’s-Co Cathedral. This is your chance to see original works from Mattia Preti—the renowned artist who painted these oil-based frescoes directly onto the stones of the vault ceiling. In addition, you can’t miss Caravaggio’s famous painting of the Beheading of St. John—an eerie work of art that captures a turbulent point in time like a photograph. A ticket there will provide you entrance to the cathedral, the attached museum, as well as an audio guide which is really helpful to explain all of the artwork, and architecture of the grand building. 
AFAR Local Expert
almost 4 years ago

St. John's Co-Cathedral

Hidden behind a nondescript facade is one of the world’s must-visit cathedrals. Its glittering gold interior represents the pinnacle of high Baroque architecture. The eight chapels within St. John's are dedicated to the eight branches of the Knights of Malta, while a crypt houses the tombs of several Grand Masters.
Finally, Caravaggio's 1608 masterpiece, The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, is located in the church’s oratory. (It is, by the way, a co-cathedral as the bishop of Malta also sits at the cathedral in Mdina.)