The Sanctuary Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady (Santwarju Bażilika ta' Santa Marija), better known as the Rotunda of Mosta, is located in the city of Mosta and is the main attraction of this city.
The church was built between 1833 and 1860 by the Maltese architect Giorgio Grognet de Vassé. The cathedral was being erected on the site of an existing church, which continued to work even during construction.
The dome of the cathedral was the third largest in the world (larger domes were only in London and Vatican).
Dome height is 54.70m, outer diameter: 56.10m, inner diameter: 36.70m.
On April 9, 1942, during the German bombing, three bombs were dropped on the cathedral, two of them flew past, but one hit the target. The bomb pierced the dome, rolled across the floor, but did not explode. Bomb weight was 500 kg. At that moment there were more than 300 people in the cathedral, none of them was injured. This event was perceived by the Maltese as a miracle. Bomb was defused and dumped at sea off the west coast of Malta. The model of the bomb is now kept in the sacristy of the cathedral and is called "Il-Miraklu tal-Bomba, 9 ta 'April 1942", which means "Miracle Bomb, April 9, 1942".
Opening hours and prices
The entrance to the temple is free. If you wish, you can leave a donation.
Rotunda opening hours:
- Monday to Friday 9.00-11.45, 15.00-17.00
- Saturday 9.00-11.45, 15.00-16.00
- Sunday - closed
How to get to the Rotunda Mosta
The cathedral has several stops.
All stops are located near the cathedral:
- "Rotunda 1" buses 103 (Bidnija - Pembroke), 186 (Rabat-Bugibba), 203 (Sliema - Bugibba), 280 (Mater Dei - Bugibba).
- "Rotunda 2" buses 31, 41, 42, 45, 47, 48, 238
- "Rotunda 3" buses 31, 41, 42, 45, 48, 186, 203, 238, 280.
- "Rotunda 5" buses 103, 202 (Rabat - Sliema), 260, N12 (night bus, doesn't go to Valletta).
- "Nicolo" buses 44.47, 202, 260.
How to get to the Rotunda Mosta from Valletta:
Buses 31, 41, 42, 45, 47, 48, 238, 260 run from the main bus station of Valletta. Travel time from Valletta is approximately 40 minutes, depending on traffic jams. Please check the timetable on the official Malta transport website.