Rotunda of Mosta – Worlds Third Largest Unsupported Dome Church

Mosta Rotunda - Third Largest Unsupported Dome Church in the World

Templeseeker is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. Other affiliate links may be used on this website, but they do not impact on the price that you pay and they do help me to get this information to you for free. Read my privacy policy for more information regarding affiliates.

For 300 years, Malta was under the authority of the Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church plays a very important role as far as the identity, traditions and customs of the island go. Today I went to visit the Mosta Rotunda in the heart of Malta.

Rotunda of Mosta – How big is the Dome?

At 66m high, Rotunda of Mosta is the third largest unsupported dome in the world. The Church with the largest unsupported dome in the world is the Vatican (one of the famous Churches of Rome) and the second largest being St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Mosta Rotunda - The front of the Church

This dome is special as it is built from rounded thick stone blocks (St Paul’s is made from wood). With the half rounded stones, they had to work from the inside out to create the structure.

Rotunda of Mosta

There is a theory that all 11500 residents of Mosta can fit in the Church, though that’s never been tested. It’s certainly big enough for 3000 at least and inside it (standing room only).

Mosta Rotunda

The Bombing of the Rotunda of Mosta in WW2

During WW2, a half tonne bomb landed on the Mosta dome i Malta during a service containing 300 people, but it didn’t go off or injure anyone inside. In fact, three bombs targeted and landed on the Church: two bounced off and one did not detonate. The locals see this as a miracle. The authorities disposed of the bomb that never went off and blew it up in the countryside where it would not harm anyone.

WW2 Bomb

Regarding funding for the Church – the things inside can’t be sold to help the poor simply because the inside decoration belongs to the community – predominantly music clubs who own much of the interior decoration.

Many of the statues inside the Church when we visited (March 2018) were temporary. They were mainly effigies of Christ and crucifixions to be paraded round the city during the Good Friday parade – a central celebration in the Christian calendar as the day Jesus was crucified.

Good Friday parade

Our guide informed us that everyone in Malta is ‘Catholic’ but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are religious! The carrying of statues is often cultural reasons not religious. It’s about keeping up tradition. The younger generation who are not practicing are what I refer to as ‘cultural Catholics’.

Crucifix Malta parade

From Mosta, we headed to Mdina to see the silent city that was once the capital, and then abandoned to create the capital of Valetta near the sea.

What to pack for Malta

The time of year that you visit will have an impact on what you need to pack for Malta. If you visit in the winter time (October to March) then you need to pack a pair of jeans and a fleece as it can get chilly. Also a rainproof and windproof jacket will be necessary in the winter months.

Table could not be displayed.

In the summertime, take light walking trousers and T-shirts. You might also like to pack some long comfortable dresses for the summer. Take suncream and aftersun if you are there in the hottest months (July and August).

Table could not be displayed.

Whenever you travel, pack swimwear and walking boots as there are often swimming and hiking opportunities in Malta!

Further Reading on Malta

If you enjoyed this article on the Rotunda of Mosta in Malta you might also like to read about…

5 thoughts on “Rotunda of Mosta – Worlds Third Largest Unsupported Dome Church

  1. Pingback: Hagar Qim and The Amazing Prehistoric Temples of Malta - Templeseeker

  2. Pingback: The Silent City of Malta - Exploring Mdina with a solo female travel blogger

  3. Pingback: St Pauls Cathedral Mdina - Where Publius met St Paul - Templeseeker

  4. Pingback: Malta Sightseeing - Top 10 Churches and Historical Sites in Malta

  5. Pingback: Sightseeing in Malta - An Island of Fortresses and Cathedrals - Amateur Traveler

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.