Top Religious Sites (Self Guided), Valletta

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.
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Top Religious Sites Map

Guide Name: Top Religious Sites
Guide Location: Malta » Valletta (See other walking tours in Valletta)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Author: gene
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Our Lady of Victories Church
  • St. Catherine's Church
  • Church of St. Paul's Shipwreck
  • St. John's Co-Cathedral
  • St Francis of Assisi Church
  • St. Augustine Church
  • Carmelite Church
Our Lady of Victories Church

1) Our Lady of Victories Church

Our Lady of Victories Church was the first church built in Valletta. The order of St. John laid the foundation stone for the new city here in March 1566. The church suffered some damage to the facade in 1752, but restoration of the building’s exterior and interior have been made most recently, in 2004.
St. Catherine's Church

2) St. Catherine's Church

This church was built for the Italian followers of the Order of St. John, who were based in its vicinity. It was designed by Gerolamo Cassar in 1576 and was reconstructed in the seventeenth century.
Church of St. Paul's Shipwreck

3) Church of St. Paul's Shipwreck

The Church of St. Paul's Shipwreck is one of Valletta's oldest structures, dating back to the 1570s. It is famous for the wooden statue of St. Paul, which is paraded on the streets of the town on February 10, during the celebration of St. Paul's Shipwreck Day.
St. John's Co-Cathedral

4) St. John's Co-Cathedral (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.

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
St Francis of Assisi Church

5) St Francis of Assisi Church

St Francis of Assisi Church in Valletta is dedicated to St Francis of Assisi. It was initially built in 1607 but had to be rebuilt later because of the damage it suffered. The church is decorated with frescoes and paintings by famous artists and also has a statue of St Francis.
St. Augustine Church

6) St. Augustine Church

St Augustine Church is one of the churches built during the creation of the new city of Valletta. The foundation stone was laid in 1571 according to the plan and guidance of Geralomo Cassar, architect of the Knights of St John.

A number of the artefacts found inside the church are originals from the first church. One of these is an important sixteenth century painting of the Augustinian Nicholas of Tolentino depicted by the famous artist Mattia Preti.

The church is renowned for the statue of St. Rita. Her feast is celebrated in May with a procession with her statue in the streets of Valletta.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Carmelite Church

7) Carmelite Church (must see)

Built in 1570, this church was severely damaged during the Second World War and re-built to compete successfully with its nearby Anglican rival. Fortunately, much of the contents of the original survived, including Maria de Dominici’s late 1670s Beato Franco, high up in the middle on your left. This marvelous building is often wrongly assumed to be a cathedral because of its huge 42-meter dome that can be seen from all over the city. Like other Maltese churches, its interior design is also impressive and one can observe the exquisite marble floor as well as the beauty of the huge oval dome construction from the inside.

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.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 7am-7pm

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.
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 Walking Tour

Valletta Introduction Walking Tour

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
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