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Check out this old photo of the St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral in Valletta
The church was transformed into an air raid shelter during World War II.

Emma Galea

A photo shared to Facebook by a certain Gejtu Vella shows the St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral in Valletta many decades ago.

The structure itself hasn’t changed much since then, although the streets surrounding it are nowadays brimming with cars.

St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral was built over the span of five years – between 1839 and 1844 – by British Queen Consort, Queen Adelaide, and architect William Skamp.

Queen Adelaide had visited Malta in 1838, shortly after the death of her husband, King William IV, to savour the islands’ fresh air and sun.

Upon her arrival, however, she realised that the country lacked a place of worship for Protestants and took it upon herself to commission St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral.

Queen Adelaide had paid a whopping £20,000 pounds out of her own pocket to build the church. She even went ahead and laid the first stone on 20th March 1839.

The church was built instead of another historical building – the Auberge d’Allemagne – a structure constructed between 1571 and 1575 to house the Knights of the Order of Saint John from the langue of Germany.

St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral proved essential during World War II, as its under-croft was used as a gas-proof air raid shelter.

Facebook/Gejtu Vella

2nd September 2023


Emma Galea
Written by
Emma Galea
Emma is a Gozitan writer who loves all things related to English literature and history. When not busy studying or writing you will either find her immersed in a fictional book or at the cinema trying to watch as many films as she possibly can!

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