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St. Mary - Mosta

The Sanctuary Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady - Rotunda of Mosta

When driving around the buses in Malta, it is almost impossible not to get to Mosta, which is one of the largest cities on the island. This is because most buses run through or close past here. The city has approx. 10,000 inhabitants.
There is not much else to say about the city itself, but one should see the interesting church. The design of the present church is based on the Pantheon in Rome.

Mosta Bomb

A copy of the bomb that came through the roof- Summer 2004

The church is the 3rd largest unsupported dome church in the world, surpassed only by St. Peter's Church in Rome and Sofia Cathedral in Istanbul. The dome has a diameter of approx. 37 m. Dome Church St. Johns in Xewkija on Gozo, however, are taller but in turn narrower. During World War II, a German bomb went directly through the roof and landed without detonating on the church floor. When this happened while 300 churchgoers were at Mass, this is considered by Catholics to be a miracle of God. Others - non-believers - rather believe that gratitude should be directed at those who manufactured the bombs and deliberately prevented them from detonating. A copy of the 200 kg bomb is kept in the sacristy today.

St. Mary - Mosta

The Mosta-dome or Rotunda, built in the period 1833-60, is built in the Pantheon style.

St. Mary - Mosta

The church is built by volunteers and paid for by the local parish. Inside the 6 meter thick walls, there is room for 12,000 standing churchgoers.

St. Mary - Mosta


The church was hit by German bombs during World War II on April 9, 1942, presumably because the church was close to the military airport, Ta'Qali.


Pictures from the Mosta-dome - December 2009

St. Mary - Mosta

Inside the rotunda - December 2009

Something that often amazes me is that one does not try to keep tourism and ordinary church service more separate. Often the local churchgoers are seen confessing or sitting and crying while loads of tourists walk around and immortalize it all, as if it were a theatrical performance.

St. Mary - Mosta

Mosta seen from the ancient capital, Mdina. The dome on St. Mary's is clearly seen. - December 2008



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