There are about 400 churches and chapels over Malta’s 316 square kilometres (yes, that’s more than one per square kilometre), so it’s very hard to pick favourites. The earliest chapels on the islands date bate to the 12th and 13th centuries, when monks from southern Italy started the process of the re-Christianisation of Malta.
All things considered, here are absolutely gorgeous chapels from all over Malta.
1. St. John the Evangelist, Ħal Millieri (outskirts of Żurrieq)
The lost medieval hamlet of Ħal Millieri had two chapels very close to each other. This one has a troublesome and foggy history, but during the clean-up of the adjacent site of St. Michael’s chapel in 2004, a stone was found engraved with the signature of Giuseppi Cali, one of Malta’s most popular painters.
2. Wied Għammieq Chapel, Kalkara
Located in a small Kalkara cemetery, this chapel was built in the 19th century, and the site was the resting place for the hundreds of people who had died during the cholera epidemic in 1837.
3. St. Paul the Hermit, Wied il-Għasel, Mosta
Built in 1656, this chapel has an awesome legend behind it and is as picturesque as they get.
4. St. Nicholas, between Marsaskala and Żabbar
A baroque chapel located in the Żonqor area. Notarial documents from the early 1700s suggest that a previous chapel, also dedicated to St. Nicholas, was located in the area.
5. The Sanctuary of the Nativity of Our Lady In Mellieħa
The chapel has tow bells dating back to the 18th century. The largest bell was bought from Carlo Moreni of Firenze, Italy in 1857 for the price of 1,063 skudi.
6. St. Mary of Bir Miftuħ, Gudja
A medieval chapel in the limits of Gudja, this was mentioned as one of the 12 existing parishes by Bishop Senatore de Mello in 1436. It is believed to have existed long before that, though.
7. St. Mary of Ħax Xluq, limits of Siġġiewi
One of the oldest chapels in Malta, it’s not even known just how old St. Mary of Ħax Xluq is. What we do know is that by 1583, it was already old enough to need vital reconstructions.
8. Santa Katarina tad-Daħla, outskirts of Rabat
The small hamlet of Santa Katarina is built around this beautiful 16th century chapel, and has some breathtaking views of the Maltese countryside.
9. The Annunciation, Lija
This chapel is known by many as one of the most beautiful in Malta, and with a facade like that, it’s easy to see why.
10. Our Lady of the Abandoned, Żebbuġ
Built in 1758 by Father Paschal Azzopardi, this chapel has the remains of St. Innocent.
Photo from malta.com
11. St. Demetrius, Għarb
This chapel in one of the quietest neighbourhoods in Gozo is surrounded by myths, and is close to a cliff called Ras San Mitri.
Photo by Sebio Aquilina
12. Our Lady of Mercy, Qrendi
This chapel is also referred to as a sanctuary due to the local’s devotion to the Virgin Mary of Mercy and this beautiful site, which used to part of the medieval hamlet known as Ħal Lew.
13. Nativity of Our Lady & St Lucy’s twin chapels, Naxxar
In 1486, Leo Ebejer left monies for the erection of a church which was dedicated to the Assumption. It was rebuilt at the request of the people between 1618 and 1628, and more than half a century later, some changes were made to it and to the adjacent church of St Lucy.