World War II survivor

The city of Mosta might not be your first choice when selecting places to see on Malta. It is a small town that was used as a refuge in medieval times when pirates attacked, today it is mostly a residential zone without many highlights. But one place is really worth a stop: the Sanctuary Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady also called the Rotunda of Mosta.

The church was built from the year 1833 in the style of the Pantheon of Roma, Italy. You will find many details that have been copied, even the magnificent ceiling. The cupola is giant, and it is unclear whether it is #3 or #4 of the largest free-standing cupolas in the world. On April 9th, 1942, during a German air-raid a bomb fell onto the church and through the cupola – while a divine service with 300 people was on-going inside. The bomb didn’t explode which is an absolute wonder. The bomb exhibited in the church is a copy, the original can be found at the war museum of Valletta.

When you want to visit the church, they’re offering you different ‘packages’. I would recommend taking the full tour. Then you can climb up to the top and have a closer look at the dome and there is also an air-raid shelter underneath. They’ll give you a token that you’ll have to enter at a gate outside the church and then you can go underground.


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