Culture
Renowned traveller visiting Valletta 250 years ago describes St John’s Co-Cathedral as a 'magnificent church'
Traveller Patrick Brydone travelled around Malta and Sicily in 1770.

Francesca Vella

On this day 254 years ago, the famous traveller Patrick Brydone visited St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, claiming it to be “a magnificent church”.

Patrick Brydone (5 January 1736 – 19 June 1818) was a Scottish traveller and author, particularly known for his tour made through Sicily and Malta in 1770, which informed his travelogue, A Tour through Sicily and Malta, published in 1773.

In this book, in an entry dated June 6th 1770, Patrick Brydone described St John’s as “a magnificent church. The pavement, in particular, is reckoned the richest in the world. It is entirely composed of sepulchral monuments of the finest marbles, porphyry, lapis lazuli, and a variety of other valuable stones admirably joined together, and at an incredible expence; representing in a kind of mosaic, the arms, insignia, &c. of the persons whose names they are intended to commemorate.”

The book was favourably reviewed, and was so well received by the public, that it went through seven or eight editions in England in his lifetime, and was also translated into French and German.

St John’s Co-Cathedral is open for visitors on Monday to Saturday, between 09:00 and 16:45.

Have you visited St John’s Co-Cathedral recently?

6th June 2024


Francesca Vella
Written by
Francesca Vella
Francesca has always felt most at home in a cinema or theatre, particularly if musicals are involved. She loves to read, write, and share about her experiences of both the fictional and the real world.

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