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St. Paul's Cathedral

Mdina, Malta

St. Paul’s Cathedral

From afar, it’s hard to miss this magnificent masterpiece in the center of the walled city of Mdina, once the capital of Malta. But while weaving through the city’s narrow streets, you may forget there’s anything higher than the limestone, maze-like walls until—boom!—you happen upon it. While the existing church dates back to the 17th century, it was built on the site of an earlier one from the Norman period, which was destroyed by an earthquake. Inside, marble inlaid tombstones feature the infamous coats of arms, but the cathedral’s crowning glory is its fresco dome that features scenes from St. Paul's infamous shipwreck, with a small round opening to the sky.