Collegiate Church of St. Paul (Rabat)

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Facade of St. Paul (in the Pauline year )

The Collegiate Church of St. Paul is an important baroque church in Rabat on the island of Malta . Because of the Paulus grotto below it , it is one of the memorials and places of pilgrimage of the Apostle Paul .


St. Paul was built in 1664–1683 according to plans by Lorenzo Gafà in place of a medieval predecessor church in the Roman Baroque style and was richly furnished in the following period. Grand Master Adrien de Wignacourt established a collegiate monastery of clergy near the church .

Architecture and equipment

The church is a three-aisled, cruciform basilica with a high crossing dome . It is richly decorated with altars, statues and paintings by important artists of the 18th century. Stefano Erardi created the large high altar picture Shipwreck of St. Paul . Among the pictures on the side altars are a depiction of St. Publius by Mattia Preti and the Last Supper and the Holy Family by Francesco Zahra .

Paul's grotto

Statue of the apostle in the grotto

Paulus grotto is located on the right below the church. It is one of the sites of the island, reminiscent of the shipwreck of Paul and his companion on the voyage to Rome and his three-month stay in Malta ( Acts 27  EU and Acts 28  EU ). Tradition calls it the place where the apostle lived, taught and celebrated Holy Mass during this period .

The grotto with raw rock walls is only sparingly equipped. In the center is a large sculpture of the teaching apostle by Melchiorre Cafà . In front of it a marble plaque commemorates Pope John Paul II , who prayed here when he visited Malta in 1990.


  • Aldo F. Azzopardi: Malta and its islands. Narni 1991, p. 112f.

Web links

Coordinates: 35 ° 52 '54.6 "  N , 14 ° 23' 57.4"  E