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St. John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta

St. John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta (must see)

St. Johns Co-Cathedral was built by the Knights of Malta between 1573-78, having been commissioned in 1572 by Grand Master Jean de la Cassière as the conventual church of the Order of the Knights Hospitaller of St John, known as the Knights of Malta. The Church was designed by the Maltese military architect Glormu Cassar who designed several of the more prominent buildings in Valletta.

The severe exterior of the Cathedral, built immediately after the ending of the Great Siege of 1565, is reminiscent of a military fort.

The interior, in sharp contrast with the facade, is extremely ornate and decorated in the height of the Baroque period. Preti designed the intricately carved stone walls and painted the vaulted ceiling and side altars with scenes from the life of St John. Interestingly, the figures painted into the ceiling next to each column initially appear to the viewer as 3-dimensional statues, but on closer inspection, we see that the artist cleverly created an illusion of 3-dimensionality by his use of shadows and placement. Also noteworthy is the fact that the carving was all undertaken in-place rather than being carved independently and then attached to the walls.

Tip:
Get there early! This is a very popular attraction and the groups and cruise ship passengers are already starting to descend by 10:30 or so.
Be sure and stop by at night if you visit during the day, and ideally check the schedule as the church also has various concerts throughout the year.
As a place of worship, please dress accordingly. Shoulders must be covered and high-heeled shoes are not permitted.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9:30am–4:30pm; Sat: 9:30am–12:30pm
Ticket office closes 30 mins earlier
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Valletta, Malta within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. 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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St. John's Co-Cathedral on Map

Sight Name: St. John's Co-Cathedral
Sight Location: Valletta, Malta
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 Landmarks Tour

Valletta Landmarks Tour

Valletta proudly boasts a number of breathtaking landmarks and monuments that will impress even the most well-traveled visitor. This huge city, rich in culture and history, offers marvelous sightseeing. Here is a rundown of spots you should definitely visit during your time in Valletta.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Top Religious Sites

Top Religious Sites

Valletta has an amazing collection of religious buildings. Renowned for their architectural beauty and cultural value, they attract a huge number of tourists. Take this tour to see the best of these stunning masterpieces of craftsmanship, creativity and devotion.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Museums Walking Tour

Museums Walking Tour

Valletta is a city that is proud to share its heritage with visitors. Due to the small size of the town, there are only a few museums in Valletta. However, the historic and art exhibitions offer a fascinating glimpse into the local culture.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Valletta Introduction Walk

Valletta Introduction Walk

Valletta, the capital of Malta, is a World Heritage destination and one of the key historic centers of Europe housing a number of quality museums, palaces and grand churches. Among them is a Baroque landmark St. John’s Co-Cathedral. The abundance of well-preserved ancient structures in Valletta attracts crowds of tourists every year. Follow this orientation walk to explore the most popular...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 Km or 3.1 Miles