Mosta Dome Church, Malta

The Mosta Rotunda has the third largest unsupported dome in the world (after St. Peters in Rome and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul). It was built between 1833 and 1860 and unusually it was quite literally built by the villagers of Mosta. It was designed by Frenchman Grognet de Vasse and was constructed around the outside of the existing church in Mosta which was then demolished. This may have been how the massive dome was constructed without falling in.

In 1942 the church was hit by a bomb whilst 300 people were inside the church celebrating mass. The bomb came through the dome and skidded across the floor of the centre of the church before coming to a rest by one wall. Somehow it didn’t explode and was taken outside and defused. A replica bomb stands inside the church where it came to rest.

Mosta Dome Church is today the most spectacular of all of Malta’s many many churches and one of the top tourist attractions on the island.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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