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What a beauty! Mosta and the Marian Basilica of the Assumption
Located at the heart of Malta lies the vibrant town of Mosta, renowned for being home to one of the archipelago’s most splendid churches.

GMM Team

Often referred to as the Mosta Dome or Rotunda, this grand structure mirrors the architecture of Rome’s Pantheon, albeit with distinct modifications by its architect, George Grognet de Vassé. Boasting one of the world’s largest unsupported domes, the basilica enchants all who step inside with its grandeur, symmetry and décor. Indeed, a multitude of captivating features awaits discovery within its walls.

Mosta Dome

As a popular tourist destination, the basilica welcomes visitors throughout the week, extending its hours into the late evening on select days. Whether one’s visit is motivated by faith, culture, or both, it promises to be a rewarding experience. Notably, this majestic temple owes much of its existence to the dedicated efforts of local volunteers, who tirelessly devoted themselves to its construction seven days a week between 1833 and 1860, until the completion of its dome. Interestingly, prior to the completion of this rotunda, an older church within the space continued its pastoral service until its dismantling in 1860.

For religious pilgrims, the basilica stands as a profound ode to the Lord and Our Lady. Its imposing architecture and exquisite interior evoke a sense of reverence among the faithful, serving as a testament to the greatness and power of the Creator, as expressed through the skill and dedication of the architect and builders of this magnificent edifice.

Mosta Dome

To the culturally inclined visitor, the structure offers a visual spectacle that elicits a profound sense of emotion and awe. Its array of artworks, distinctive interior design, architectural proportions, and unique ambience provide ample reason for art and culture enthusiasts to explore it.

During their visit, tourists may opt to seek solace and contemplation in the tranquil space located behind the main altar of the basilica. This relatively secluded area offers an ideal setting for individual meditation or prayer. Moreover, groups can convene here for prayer sessions or spiritual reflections, and arrangements can also be made for private Holy Mass ceremonies.

Mosta Dome

Exploring this Marian sanctuary offers a journey filled with enriching experiences. Ascending to the roof above the portico unveils panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the town below. Continuing onward, visitors can venture onto the internal circular balcony, to admire the magnificent interior and intricately designed dome.

Upon returning to ground level, visitors have the opportunity to explore a World War Two shelter situated beneath the church parvis. This fascinating excursion showcases authentic artefacts from daily local life and crafts of yesteryear, providing an engaging experience.

The organisers also offer tours to various places around Mosta and its outskirts. This unique opportunity enables visitors to see some of the historical chapels and other interesting sites of local heritage.

Mosta Dome

Before concluding the tour, visitors are encouraged to make a final stop at the Dome Visitors Centre, conveniently located just a few steps from the basilica. Here, they can browse through souvenirs, enjoy refreshments at the cafeteria, sample traditional Maltese cuisine, and more, thus further enhancing their overall Mosta experience.

The article first appeared on Guide Me spring/summer 2024.

22nd June 2024


gmm team
Written by
GuideMeMalta.com
This article was written by a GuideMeMalta team member.

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