St John's Co-Cathedral (Kon-Katidral ta’ San Ġwann) is a Catholic cathedral in the center of Valletta, dedicated to St. John the Baptist. At the moment, this cathedral is one of the most visited places in the Maltese Islands.
Cathedral was built by Hospitallers (by order of the Grand Master of the Order - Jean de la Cassière). The construction of the cathedral started in 1572 and finished in 1577.
The austere and modest appearance of the cathedral sharply differs from the luxurious interiors inside.
The marble tombstones which you can see in the floor are a unique feature of St. John's Cathedral. Entire floor of the nave, chapel and oratorio is covered with tombstones, under which are various burials, including some of the most prominent knights of the Order. Epitaphs in Latin describe the merits of each individual knight; each tombstone contains information about his triumph, glory, victory and death.
Each tombstone was made according to an original design and consists of colored inlaid marble. The slabs date from the early seventeenth century to the late eighteenth century.
The great Masters of the Order are buried in the cathedral, for example, La Vallette and La Cassier. A complete list of burials is published on the cathedral official website.
- Monday - Friday: 10.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. (last entry at 2 p.m.)
- Saturday: 10.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. (last entry at 2 p.m.)
- Sundays and Holidays - Closed.
The most famous work in the church is Caravaggio masterpiece "The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist", written in 1608. This painting is Caravaggio's only signed work, it was made by the Grand Master Alof de Vignacur order. The canvas with the painting is located in the cathedral's oratorio.
There is also a second Caravaggio's painting, called "Saint Jerome Writing", written in 1607-1608.
How to get to the St John's Co-Cathedral
Address: Triq Ir-Repubblika, Il-Belt Valletta, Malta
If you want ot get to St John's Co-Cathedral from the main square near the entrance to Valletta, you just need to walk in a straight line along the main street of the city:
- Adults: € 15.00
- Seniors: € 7.50
- Students: € 7.50.
- Children under 12 years old: free entrance (accompanied by an adult)
The ticket price includes an audio guide.
Before your visit, check the information on the official website.