Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Valletta

Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Valletta

The Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, located in Valletta, is a significant symbol of the island's religious and architectural legacy. This Catholic basilica, belonging to the Carmelite order, honors Our Lady of Mount Carmel and occupies a prominent position within Valletta's UNESCO World Heritage Site, emphasizing its importance among the city's numerous churches.

Built on the site of a 16th-century church destroyed during World War II, the present-day basilica was constructed between 1958 and 1981, following the design of Maltese architect Joseph Damato. The church's dome, intended to surpass the height of the nearby Anglican Saint Paul's Pro-Cathedral bell tower, reflects a competitive aspect in its architectural ambition, contributing to Valletta's recognizable skyline.

Originally, the 16th-century church had a wide nave, lateral chapels, a modest dome, and a bell tower adorned with frescoes. The 20th-century reconstruction adopts Neoclassical architecture, featuring an impressive oval dome that dominates the skyline. Inside, red marble columns add to the grandeur and solemnity of the space.

Externally, a niche houses a statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel sculpted by Salvatore Dimech in 1855. The church's altarpiece, depicting the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus and saints Simon Stock and Agatha of Sicily, is attributed to Filippo Paladini and dates back to the late 16th or early 17th centuries.

Inside the basilica, a wooden statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, created in Naples in 1781, stands on a silver pedestal designed by Abram Gatt. The church also contains "Beato Franco" by Maria de Dominici from the 1670s, adding to its artistic and spiritual treasures.

Why You Should Visit:
You can't really grasp the size of the place until you get inside. Even for the non-religious, it's a good quiet spot to come and rest in between travels and enjoy some cool air.

While at it you can also visit the Anglican cathedral across the road – a quite simple but also lovely church.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Valletta. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Map

Sight Name: Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Sight Location: Valletta, Malta (See walking tours in Valletta)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Valletta, Malta

Create Your Own Walk in Valletta

Create Your Own Walk in Valletta

Creating your own self-guided walk in Valletta is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Valletta Introduction Walking Tour

Valletta Introduction Walking Tour

Malta's capital city, Valletta, occupies the strategic peninsula between the Marsamxett and Grand Harbours. It is Europe's smallest capital city.

Valletta was founded in the 16th century. Many of the original buildings were built by the Knights Hospitaller. The city was named for Jean Parisot de Valette, famous for defending the island from the Ottomans during the Great Seige of Malta...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Valletta Architectural Landmarks Tour

Valletta Architectural Landmarks Tour

Following the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, the knights of the Order of St John set about creating a city ‘built by gentlemen, for gentlemen’. The end result saw the island's capital become home to an array of elaborate Baroque buildings, some reflecting Mannerist features borrowed from neighboring Italy.

Many of these architectural monuments have proudly withstood the test of time...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles