A visit to Valletta can not go without taking the church tour of St John's Co-Cathedral. This Roman Co-Cathedral is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. It is considered to be one of the greatest masterpieces on the island.
History of St John's Co-Cathedral
The Cathedral was built by the Maltese architect Gerolamo Cassar, between 1573 and 1577. It is believed that he went to Rhodes to bring a plan for an already existing church that was converted into a Mosque. However, Cassar took the whole design in his hands and become the sole architect of the Co-cathedral.
For the first century of its existence, the interior was constantly modified. Finally, it was transformed into the baroque style, but in the 19the century, Giuseppe Hyzler, removed some of the Baroque art of the cathedral, and he included the ornate altar in the Chapel of the Langue of France. The exterior of the cathedral was damaged during WWII, but then it was renovated. Even recently it was renovated again.
Once you enter the cathedral you will realize how much work and time it took to give this final outcome. There are so many details that leave you speechless. It was largely decorated at the best period of Baroque by Mattia Preti, a Calabrian artist and knight , featuring scenes from the life of St John the Baptist. The cathedral also has a museum with beautiful tapestries and many works of art, including The Beheading of St John the Baptist by Caravaggio. A masterpiece of a great dramatic intensity.
There are so many elements and details that have been gathered during the years.
I will let the pictures speak because I honestly don't have the words needed to describe the scenery.
The tour is worth doing if you love this kind of thing. The cathedral is open on a daily bases. It doesn't work only on Sunday. To find all the information needed about the church tour, please visit this link.
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