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Your Guide to Malta and Gozo - Basilica of St. George

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Basilica of St. George, Martyr

St George's Basilica Parish Office, Charity Street, Victoria; tel:+356 2155 6377;  www.sangorg.org

 

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Very understandably, this temple has been dubbed the “marble church”; indeed, this church is unique in that its interior is almost entirely covered in marble.

Although the original design was sketched by the celebrated Maltese architect Vittorio Cassar, the church underwent several improvements and enlargements in subsequent years.The foundation stone was laid on August 7th, 1672. It was consecrated on September 21st, 1755. The present facade, designed by Carlo Bondi' was erected in 1818. The church was elevated to the status of a basilica on September 6th, 1958.

Fra Francesco de Cordoba, Governor of Gozo entrusted the painting of St. George Martyr to the renowned Mattia Preti in 1678.

An unidentified family engaged Pietro Paolo Azzopardi to create the noteworthy sculpture of St.

George in 1838 in thanksgiving for having been liberated from cholera, supposedly with divine intervention. This was sculpted out of wood and has the attribute of being the first titular statue in Gozo.

The bronze canopy by Carlo Pisi is a faithful reproduction of the one by Bernini in St. Peter's Church in Rome.