How to visit St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta in Malta

Co-cathedral of Saint John in Valletta in Malta

When considering a trip to Malta surely you are aware of the great and historical fidelity that the Maltese have to the Catholic Church.

Therefore, you should not be surprised by the large number of churches that you will find in your walk through Valletta or other corners of the island, as well as the numerous religious domes and statues that you can see.

Now, the great religious temple of the island is undoubtedly the Co-cathedral of San Juan Bautista that you can visit in the capital of the small Maltese country, Valletta.

Facade of the St. John Co-Cathedral in Valletta in Malta

At the outset, I anticipate that in front of the enormous sobriety of its facade you will find an interior with such splendor that, among the many churches and cathedrals that I have visited, it only comes to mind to equip it with that of the Church of the Company in Quito, Ecuador.

In contrast, the aforementioned sobriety of the main facade has a historical motive.

History Co-cathedral of San Bautista in Valletta

The Hospital Military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem that had settled in the Malta Island was aimed at protecting the catholic faith and to Europe from the danger of Ottoman Turks.

Behind the Great Site of 1595, the Knights of the Order of St. John they decided to convert Valletta in a great fortress according to the importance of the nobles that were part of the mentioned military order.

Chapel of the Co-Cathedral of Saint John in Valletta in Malta

And, of course, in a capital of such a high range, a cathedral could not be missing, which was completed in 1577.

What to see in the visit of the co-cathedral San Juan

Now when you get to the St. John's Co-Cathedral located in the historic center of Valletta you will see its very austere facade, fortification type, flanked by two bell tower.

To review that during my recent visit one of the towers was under renovation and covered by a large canvas properly decorated.

As I said, the big surprise you will take when you access the interior.

After going through the ticket office and paying the entrance, you will pick up an audio guide that will allow you to continue the visit.

High Major of the St. John Co-Cathedral in Valletta in Malta

Interior decoration of the Co-Cathedral of San Juan

Its interior, as it happens with that of the aforementioned Jesuit church in Quito, does not stand out for large dimensions.

Will be your splendid interior decoration, which will really leave you impressed, with its carved walls and covered in gold leaf, and with paintings on the walls and roof vaults.

The co-cathedral is arranged with a central nave divided into two parts, with the main altar as the main area, and with a succession of chapels arranged on both sides of said central nave.

That lavish decoration of Baroque style It was implemented after its construction.

Chapel of the Co-Cathedral of Saint John in Valletta in Malta

It was in the 17th century when, after the arrival of this architectural style, the new decoration was commissioned to the Calabrian artist Mattia Preti.

In you walk inside the cathedral With the audio guide company you can see the decoration of the vault where episodes of the life of Saint John Baptist.

Note that the stones of the church walls were carved directly on the site, instead of using the usual technique of stucco.

Look also at the floor of the central nave, a real treasure, with marble tombstones which show a lavish decoration with symbols and representations of stories of the most important gentlemen.

Chapels of the Order of Malta in St. John's Co-Cathedral

As I said, on both sides of the central nave there are eight chapels, which are dedicated to the different sections (or languages) of the Order of Malta.

Chapel of the Co-Cathedral of Saint John in Valletta in Malta

For example you can see the Aragon chapels, from France, from Italy wave Anglo-Bavarian.

Caravaggio paintings in St. John's Co-Cathedral

The Visit of the Co-Cathedral of San Juan de Valletta you will complete it in the museum where you can see paintings of Caravaggio in the old room Oratory.

Specifically, one of the great masterpieces of the Italian painter, The Decapitation of Saint John the Baptist, which is the largest canvas that the sixteenth-century artist painted and which is the best example of his chiaroscuro technique.

Times Co-Cathedral San Juan in Valletta

The Visiting hours of the Co-Cathedral of San Juan They are from Monday to Friday, from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, and on Saturdays from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm, in both cases with ticket closures half an hour earlier.

Vault of the Co-Cathedral of Saint John in Valletta in Malta

The co-cathedral is closed for visits on Sundays and holidays.

Ticket prices Co-Cathedral San Juan

Loa ticket prices they are, adults, 10 euros; seniors and students, 7.50 euros; and children under 12, free.