The Convetual Church of the Knights of Malta
Cynthia de Giorgio
Maltese History and Social Studies, Art in Malta, Maltese Architecture
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St John’s Co-Cathedral is undoubtedly Malta’s most beautiful heritage from the Knight’s period. For the past 5 years the Foundations of St John’s Co-Cathedral has embarked on an ambitious project to restore the church to its past glory and splendour. With the completion of major restoration works, the church has already regained much of what has been hidden.
Midsea Books, together with the Foundation of St John’s Co-Cathedral, are proud to have been the first to bring to the general public the first book about St John after these works with photography taken during November 2009.
The book, not only presents a historical background to the church but describes in detail the church, from the nave, to the chapels, the sacristy, the oratory, and the grand masters’ crypt. Furthermore, the book gives an insight to other art masterpieces and artefacts found in the museum.
St John’s Co-Cathedral is a gem of Baroque art and architecture. Its rich history and artistic heritage is due to the fact that, for over 200 years, it was the conventual church of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. The history of the church is directly tied to the history of the Order in Malta. Over the years, the grand masters, dignitaries, and knights donated gifts of high artistic value and made enormous contributions to enrich it with the best works of art by the leading artists available to them. The knights themselves referred to the church as ‘la nostra chiesa maggiore della Sacra Religione Gerosolmitana’.
The book outlines the history of the church. It also describes the chapels, the art and the treasures found within. Moreover it is the first book to be published after the completion of the restoration project of the main nave. The book has been updated and just reprinted with images of all the latest restortation which brought the church back to its former splendour.