St. John Co-Cathedral is undoubtedly one of the most popular religious sites in Malta. Built in the 16th century, it remains a popular tourist attraction and a place where you can pray.
The church is at the southern section of the Great Siege Square at Valletta.
What to See
Visitors to the church will immediately see the impressive balcony and the towers. The church is ornately designed in the Baroque manner. The stone walls have intricate carving. The ceiling is richly decorated.
The cathedral walls are laden with scenes illustrating the life of St. John. Close to the entrance of the St. John Co-Cathedral is the Grand Master Fra Marc Antonio Zondadari monument.
There are several notable works of art in the church. Probably the best known is the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist (1608) by Caravaggio. This painting, the only one that Caravaggio signed, is at the Oratory. Also in the church is St Jerome III (1607–1608) also by Caravaggio.
There are also marble tombstones at the nave. Important knights were buried here. Equally impressive is the Mazzuoli Group sculpture at the back of the altar. There is also a museum near the church where you can find other artifacts. Among the precious objects there are tapestries and paintings by the Grand Masters.
The church was constructed between 1573 and 1578. Its was commission was by Grand Master Jean de la Cassiere. It was designed to be the church of the Knights of Malta. The church design was courtesy of Maltese military architect Glormu Cassar.
The entrance fee is 6.00 for adults. For seniors it is 4.60. For children under 12, the admission fee is waived off if accompanied by an adult. For studnets, the fee is 3.50 Euros. There is no fee for those who want to pray. If you want to pray inform the staff when you come in. You will be taken to the chapel.
Visitors to the church will be provided with handheld audio guides. These will help you understand important facts about the church. Many of the areas are also wheelchair friendly. Visitors are asked to come dressed in a decent manner.
St. John Co-Cathedral is open Monday to Friday from 09:30 to 16:30. The last admission is at 16:00. On Saturdays, the church is open from 09:30 to 12:30. The final admission is 12:00. The church is closed on Sundays and on public holidays.