You'll Soon Be Able To Visit A Part Of Valletta's Co-Cathedral You've Always Seen But Probably Never Been In Before
And you'll be able to stand close to where countless Grand Masters stood centuries ago
After the façade of Valletta's St. John's Co-Cathedral underwent substantial restorations earlier this year, visitors will now be able to visit the popular landmark's choir balcony. This marks a historic first for many locals and tourists, and the experience is also set to be free on one special day.
Announced during a Press Conference earlier today, the balcony's official opening ceremony was addressed by the Hon. Minister Owen Bonnici, Michael Pace Ross, Noel Zammit, Cynthia de Giorgio and President of the St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation Mr. Wilfrid Buttigieg.
To celebrate the feast of Saint Joseph next week, entrance will be free for visitors on the evening of the 19th of March.
St. John's was built immediately after the end of the Great Siege of 1565, and its balcony instantly became instrumental in the following years. From it, the name of the newly-elected Grand Master was announced, and with also customary for the Grand Master to throw golden coins at the people who were waiting in the square for news. The inner side of the balcony, which is the part which will be opened for visitors, overlooks the cathedral's majestic baroque interior.
During the reign of Grand Master Fra Nicolo Cotoner, the principal entrance of the church was embellished and some alterations to the balcony were made. The balcony, which is made of marble balusters, is supported on nine elaborated carved stone corbels stretching the full width of the west of the nave. The balcony also connects the two bell towers which shot to prominence earlier this year when trippy animations were projected onto them during the official inauguration of the European Capital of Culture.
The St. John's Co-Cathedral Foundation, the custodians of the Maltese treasure that is Valletta's cathedral, said that this is a continuing attempt to "enhance the presentation of The Collections and increase the accessibility for the benefit of the general public, scholars and researchers."
Of course, while you're at it, be sure to check out the rest of the co-cathedral. It's not like it's not already impressive enough.