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Your Guide to Malta and Gozo - Carmelite Church

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

Address: Old Theatre Street, Valletta

 

Alongside the towering steeple of the Anglican Cathedral, the massive elliptical dome of the Carmelite Church is perhaps the most prominent feature of the Valletta skyline.

The first temple to be constructed on this site was a chapel, completed in 1570. A larger church was designed by famed architect Girolamo Cassar and was completed in 1586. In 1895, the church was elevated to the status of Minor Basilica. This church was damaged irrepairably during the blitz of World War II. The present temple was designed by Guzé D'Amato; its foundation stone was laid in 1958 and was consecrated by Rev. Emmanuel Gatt in 1981.

This church houses several works of art by such prominent and important painters as Guido Reni, Guiseppe Cali', Guiseppe d'Arena, and Esprit Barthet.

A life size wooden sculpture of St. Joseph lovingly holding the Infant Jesus by the hand is the work of Nazju Portelli and provided inspiration to Ignatius (Nazju) Falzon (1813-1865) – a Maltese candidate to Sainthood who used to regularly pray in front of the statue.