Malta: Whole Lotta Churches.

Apparently there are 365 churches and chapels on the tiny Island of Malta. I'd like to quote some kind of churches per square foot statistic but I couldn't source the required info... the geek in me is upset. Here are some pictures I snapped of St John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta. Quite a place.

Built in the 16th Century by the Knights of Malta. It's relatively plain exterior has a look akin to that of a fort due to it being constructed in the aftermath of the Great Siege of 1565.

St. Johns

Hidden inside the sober exterior is a lavish and expansive expression of Baroque extravagance. The detailed carved Maltese limestone walls were all carved in-situ. The Sanctuary and High Altar is the focal point of the church and is shrouded in gifts. The High Altar in the centre of the sanctuary is a rare marble and was the gift of Grand Master Carafa.

High Altar

The solid silver Sanctuary lamp held by two angels is a reflection of the extravagant baroque style and the grandeur of the Order during the seventeenth century. This rare treasure was the gift of Bali Fra Vincenzo Rospigliosi in 1669.

Sanctuary lamp

The nave is 53 metres in length and 15 metres wide with side chapels on either side.

The nave

The Grand Masters, who all took great pride in their conventual church, wanted it to be decorated according to the new artistic baroque style. During the 1650s and throughout the 1660s a vast programme of decoration was set into motion. Significant works of art were introduced, for which no expense was spared.

Decoration

I'm sure you'll agree that it's quite an amazing place. The interior is a little too garish for my tastes but this makes it no less awe inspiring.

To see more complete info on the church see these sites that I plagiarised:
stjohnscocathedral.com
Wikipedia - St.John'sCo-Cathedral