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Your Guide to Malta and Gozo - St Paul's Catacombs

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St. Paul's Catacombs

St.Agatha Street, Rabat; Tel: +356 21 454 562; www.heritagemalta.org

Monday - Sunday: 9.00-17.00 (Last admission: 16.30); Closed: 24, 25 and 31 December, 1st January, Good Friday.  Regular ticket (18 - 59 years):€5; subsidised ticket: 12-17 years, senior Citizens (60+), students:  3.50; children (6 -11 years): €2,50; children younger than 6 years of agemay visit at no charge.Multi Site Tickets: Visit all the area museums in one day and save on the admission fee,Rabat - Mdina Multi Site Ticket
(Domus Romana, St Paul's Catacombs & National Museum of Natural History), Adults (18 - 59 years) €12.00,Students (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years and over), ISIC Card Holders, EURO<26 Card Holders, ICOM Card Holders €9.00, Children (6 -11 years): €6.00 Infants (1 -5 years): Free

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St. Paul's Catacombs are an intricate complex of tombs and passageways, occupying an area of about 2000 square metres, the entrance to which is in the region of Rabat known as Ħal Bajada. The Catacombs owe their name to the notion that they may have once been connected to St. Paul's Grotto.

At the ticketing desk, you will be given a free audio guide for which you will be requested to leave a refundable sum or an identification document that may be retrieved after your visit. Opposite the ticketing desk is a small collection of artefacts recovered from the catacombs. Items on display here include personal ornaments such as bracelets and bone pins – possibly used for hairstyling purposes popular amongst women in Roman times. There is also a funerary inscription and a number of terracotta lamps, decorated with various motifs.

Preliminary investigations of the site were carried out by Ġan Franġisk Abela (1582 – 1655) and in 1894, Antono Annetto Caruana executed a more through excavation.                         

The main halls of the complex are reached through a long flight of steps. The pillars are hewn out of the rock to resemble Doric columns. It is thought that the hall on the left may have been used as a chapel in Byzantine times.

The catacombs fell into disuse with the Arab invasion until Christianity once again took root in Malta in the 13th Century.