Churches in Gozo
Ta’ Pinu Basilica
In 1883, a woman from Gharb heard a voice calling her to recite prayers at the chapel that occupied the site at the time. It was then that the chapel was extended and built to become a Basilica dedicated to the intercession of Our Lady of Ta’Pinu. The Basilica was built between 1920 and 1931, news of the intercession spread and faith brought them to Ta’Pinu with gifts of thanks to the miracles that happened in their lives. These gifts can be seen to this very day in the church, proof of the devotion the Gozitans have in Christian faith. Ta’Pinu is an architectural masterpiece having 6 mosaics on the sides and coloured windows, superb sculptures showing Maltese Craftsmanship in Maltese Stone. Just opposite Ta’Pinu Basilica there is a series of statues representing the Way of the Cross up the hill where one can admire the nature and spectacular views of the surrounding hills.
The Cathedral can be seen while visiting the Citadel in Rabat. It was designed by a Maltese Architect Lorenzo Gafa in baroque style. One interesting thing is that the painting’s perspective on the ceilings give the illusion of a dome shape when in reality the Cathedral ceiling is flat. It is dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady which is celebrated on the 15th of August of every year.
St. John the Baptist Church, Xewkija
Xewkija is where the Rotunda church is found and dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The Xewkija Church is known to be the third largest supported dome in the world. The dome is 75 metres high with a diameter of 27 metres. There is also access to the lift that leads you to the roof enjoying spectacular views of the whole island.
The Gharb Church is dedicated to the Visitation of our Lady. It was built to extend the smaller chapel of ‘Taz-Zejt’, which served as the Parish for fifty years. It was called ‘Taz-Zejt’ (meaning oil) because legend has it that a woman saw oil coming out from the side of the church, she applied some and cured her ills. With the help of the villagers who were fishermen and farmers who contributed to the church to build an extension. The interesting thing about this church is the facade, it is set in a deep central concave shape. The village feast is celebrated in the first weekend of July.
The 19th century Church is set in a square with outdoor cafes. The Church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Victories, which is celebrated on the 8th of September. Xaghra is known worldwide as the location of the Ggantija temples and legendary Calypso Cave. Like many other churches, the parish was a chapel and was later extended as the population grew in Xaghra. The Church is covered with marble featuring a beautiful statue of Virgin Mary brought from France in 1878.