10 things to do in Malta this summer – See a Caravaggio

Posted on July 3, 2010

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3) See a Caravaggio

I am not keen on churches and musuems at all and the St. John\’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta is a mix of both…but I will still say that for me this is the only historical attraction worth paying for and that I find it truly beautiful and fascinating (Don’t bother with the temples – Yes, they are very, very old, in fact the oldest free standing structures in the world, but they can’t be described as beautiful to look at). With the help of the excellent audio guide you could literally spend hours roaming the vast, extravagently embellished space and looking at its endless sea of baroque detail. Even the floor has been decorated with hundreds of tomb stones, each with a personal design. As if this was not already good enough, for me the true crown and glory of this Church is the vast Caravaggio canvas (one of two, actually) housed in the oratory, which depics the beheading of St. John. You might, as I had done, have seen it a million times on postcards and pictures, but rest assure that seeing an envelope-sized reproduction of it comes nowhere close to the experience of standing before the real thing.

Entrance to the co-cathedral is only 6 euros, but if you’d rather visit the main church interior for free, time your visit for when a service is being held, though in this case remember that the people around you are there to worship God, not to hear you camera clicking away.

-Photo 1 by oha1, text by Denise Pulis @ www.travelwithdenden.wordpress.com

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Posted in: Malta