Baroque at its Peak

Take a peek with webo29 into St John’s Co-Cathedral – Valletta and Malta’s baroque gem. A unique repository of wonders dating back to the 16th century.

Credits: webo29

Built as the conventual church for the Knights of St John, St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta was commissioned in 1572 by Grand Master Jean de la Cassière. It was designed by the Maltese military architect Gerolamo Cassar.

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As you might have already figured out, the church is dedicated to St John the Baptist, the patron saint of the Order.

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The Knights, eager to rival the great churches of Rome, donated gifts of high artistic value and made enormous contributions to enrich the church.

Credits: webo29
Credits: webo29

The Calabrian artist Mattia Preti, for example, was commissioned to transform the interior into a celebration of Baroque art. He did so by painting the entire ceiling with oils directly on stone.

Credits: webo29

The co-Cathedral houses Caravaggio’s Beheading of St John the Baptist, the only signed painting by the Italian master of the chiaro scuro technique.

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Another unique attraction are the intricate, marble-inlaid tombstones, which form a magnificently-patterned floor which will keep your easily straying eyes fixed to the ground.

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Today, St John’s is not just a church but also a venue for cultural events and above all, one of the most popular cultural attractions visited by tourists in Malta.

It is administered by the St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation, which was set up in 2001 to ensure the church’s and museum’s conservation.

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Interior images taken with the Fuji Natura Classica and Lomography 800iso film. 

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written by webo29 on 2012-03-21 #places #art #church #location #architecture #select-type-of-location #art-and-culture #st-john-s-co-cathedral #valletta-malta-baroque


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