Thousands Visit Third Largest Unsupported Dome In Europe

In Malta you’ll find a different church for every day of the year.  These range from windswept cliff-top chapels to lofty city-centre cathedrals, and from gothic fortress-churches with an adjoining graveyard, to ultra-modern structures that wouldn’t be out of place in the Starship Enterprise.  In Malta you’ll also find an underwater chapel although admittedly it started out as one of the aforementioned cliff-top chapels that got a little too windswept.

In short, the Maltese like their churches and one of the examples that gives them the most pride is the magnificent Mosta Dome.  This architectural masterpiece is distinguished by the grandeur of its 67 metre high cupola and neo-classic fa?ade embellished by iconic columns, closely based on Rome’s Pantheon.
The Mosta Dome is the third largest unsupported dome in Europe.  Also known as the Rotunda of Santa Marija Assunta, it is dedicated to the Assumption.  It was built between 1830′s and 1860′s around Mosta’s previous parish church.  When the Mosta Dome was completed, the old church, which was now inside the new church, was demolished.  This ingenious method was established so that the pious villagers would never be bereft of a church to attend.  The diameter of the dome measures 37 metres across and the structure was designed by the Maltese architect Giorgio Grongnet.
The church escaped destruction in the Second World War when an afternoon air-raid on the 9th of April 1942 saw a 200kg bomb piercing the dome and landing squarely in the middle of the church where 300 people were gathered in prayer.  The bomb failed to explode and everyone escaped harm.  A replica of the bomb is now on display in the church.
The church also has the largest mechanical organ ever installed in Malta.  It was built in Italy by the famous organ builder Pacifico Inzoli.  It was installed in 1885 and contains around 2000 pipes.

It is no wonder that each year, this magnificent masterpiece is visited by thousands of tourists, who are awed by the beauty of the paintings, altar, marble floors and the structure in itself.

So if you happen to be in Malta, you must visit this architectural masterpiece, which has stood proud for nearly 200 years.

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