Mosta, Malta

You will never imagine where you will find the world’s fourth largest unsupported dome. It is not in a major city but in a remote town of less than 20,000 people in the center of a small island. Visit it in Mosta and learn why it is called a miracle.

Share this
View MAP

1 Full Frontal View of Mosta Dome in Mosta, Malta

The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady dominates the center of Mosta, a small town of about 20,000 people in the center of Malta. When St Marija Assunta was consecrated in 1871, the town’s population was 90% smaller. So, it is a delightful surprise to see such gorgeous Neoclassical architecture here. Among its features are ten Ionic columns forming the portico, the pediment with its delicate reliefs and two flanking bell towers. Even more surprising? It has the world’s fourth largest unsupported dome! That is why the Roman Catholic church is proudly called The Mosta Dome.

Rotunda Square, Mosta, Malta
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

2 Close Up View of Mosta Dome in Mosta, Malta

I could not resist taking a closer view of the dome atop the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, often referred to as the Rotunda of Mosta. The world’s fourth largest unsupported dome was the design of local architect Giorgio Grognet de Vassé. He also carefully chose the façade’s warm beige limestone that was quarried locally at Ta’ Vnezja. But I was curious about the motif above the pediment and below the cornice. Their five or seven petals resemble a palmette design. In classic Greek and Roman architecture they are called anthemion.

Rotunda Square, Mosta, Malta
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

3 The Miracle Rotunda of the Mosta Dome in Mosta, Malta

This exquisite rotunda inside the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady is both beautiful and massive. Its diameter is 122 feet and the ceiling walls are 30 feet thick. This makes it one of the largest in the world. It is also responsible for deflecting two bombs dropped by German aircraft on April 9, 1942. A third bomb pierced the dome while perishers were praying inside but did not explode. A replica of this World War II bomb can be found in the back of the church. It is appropriately called “The Bomb Miracle.”

Rotunda Square, Mosta, Malta
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

4 Altar of Mosta Dome in Mosta, Malta

The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady has a fairly uncommon circular design. The center altar is surrounded by six side chapels all defined by tall arches. They are supported by Corinthian columns with gilded capitals. The space near the apex of each arch is adorned with religious murals by Maltese painter Giuseppe Calì. Below them are statues like these of the prophets Isaias (left) and Sophonias (right).

Rotunda Square, Mosta, Malta
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions
TOP