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A spotlight on St Paul the First Hermit Chapel, located in Mosta’s Wied il-Ghasel
A beauty!

Jillian Mallia

Malta has known for his rich cultural heritage, architecture, and stunning views from cliffsides, countryside and even valleys. One such valley and a popular one at that, is Mosta’ Wied il-Ghasel (Valley of Honey) and particular its wayside chapel dedicated to St Paul the First Hermit (San Pawl l-Eremita).

In a post sharing gorgeous photos shared by Kappa Vision’s Jean-Paul Borg, details are given about the stunning chapel overlooking Mosta’s prominent valley. The chapel is nestled in a cave-like rock ledge which was initially built in 1656.

 

It’s obviously an utterly picturesque spot and many have walked through the valley to climb up to the chapel’s ledge. After years of neglect and even destruction by vandals it was thankfully restored.

Fun facts about the chapel

“In 1993 the titular painting and another painting were substituted by copies as the original altar piece was stolen in 1988. The painting was found some time later. In 1972 the paintings were transferred to the parish church of Mosta for safe custody,” JP writes.

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Apparently, there are also vestiges of a rock-cut room behind the church which is believed to be the cell of a holy hermit – hence the chapel’s dedication to St Paul the Hermit.

Architecture & history

The beautiful chapel dates back centuries, but just how far back is uncertain. However, it is mentioned in Gan Frangisk Abela’s 1647 book – the first history book of Malta which details paintings that were found in the chapel.

Just a year short of a decade later, a Mosta local by the name of Gan Pawl Mangion brought a painting of the Virgin Mary to the cave. He was later given permission by Bishop Balaguer of Malta to rebuild the chapel and an altar.

As the years went by, the chapel was abandoned, possibly due to the fact that it was on the outskirts of the town and within a valley. It was only in 1920 that Reverend Karm Gauci was appointed by Archbishop Mauro Caruana to care for the chapel. It was unfortunately abandoned once again and was later deconsecrated. However it has been recently restored to its original state.

1st May 2021


Jillian Mallia
Written by
Jillian Mallia
A book lover, writer and globetrotter who loves exploring new places and the local gems that the Maltese Islands have to offer. An avid foodie and arts fanatic, Jillian searches the island and beyond for the perfect settings to write about.

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