Mdina – St. Paul’s Cathedral, Museum and Plaza

November 15, 2011

After passing through the main gate, we turn on Triq Inguanez and then again on Triq IL Villegaignon, past St Peters Chapel to St. Pauls Catherdral.

St. Paul’s Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the city of Mdina, in Malta. It is built on the site where governor Publius was reported to have met Saint Paul following his shipwreck off the Maltese coast.

According to tradition, the first Cathedral of Malta was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, Mother of God but, having fallen into ruin during the Muslim period, it was rebuilt following the Norman conquest and re-dedicated to St Paul. The old church was modified and enlarged several times.   The building we can see today was designed by the architect Lorenzo Gafa, it was built between 1697 and 1702 to replace a ruined Norman cathedral destroyed by the 1693 earthquake on Malta.

The important Cathedral Museum is on the south side of the square of St Paul’s Cathedral (see separate entry) and is housed in the impressive Baroque palace which was formerly a seminary. The museum contains objects from the pre-erarthquake cathedral, a coin and medal collection spanning 2.000 years, woodcuts by Albert Durer, Rembrandt engravings, intricate religious vestments and documents from the time of the Inquisition.

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