Malta has been distinguished by great religiosity for centuries: dozens of churches and cathedrals in honor of the saints were built on the island. Our Lady of Victories Church in Valletta is the first completed building in the future capital of the state: the construction was connected with thanks to the Virgin for help during the war with the Ottoman Empire. The church has preserved many centuries-old relics and jewelry that will delight with its wealth and sophistication: it is worth your visit while traveling in Malta. It is not only interesting from the outside, but also beautiful inside.
The building was erected to mark the victory of the Knights of the Order of St. John and the Maltese over the Ottoman invaders in September 1565. The church is dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin: behind the main altar is the title picture, which depicts the birth of the Blessed Virgin.
Grandmaster Jean Parisot de Vallette financed the construction of the building. He died of a fever on August 21, 1568 and was buried in the crypt of the church: when the Cathedral of St. John was built, his remains were transferred there.
The attraction has changed several times in the 17-18 centuries:
- In 1617, the Order of St. John chose this church as its parish church.
- In 1699, by order of Grandmaster Ramon Perelos, the church was expanded
- In 1716, Perelos commissioned the Maltese artist Alessio Erardi to decorate the vault with scenes depicting the life of the Virgin: they were completed in two years
- In 1752, the facade, the sacristy, the bell tower and the house of the parish priest were expanded - the facade received a beautiful baroque view, which includes a bronze bust of Pope Innocent XII
- In the second half of the 18th century, in addition to the altars dedicated to John the Baptist and Paul, two other altars were built
- In 1837, the church became the Garrison Church for the royal military.
Over the years, the church has experienced several damage to both its structure and its paintings. On April 23, 1942, the ceiling of the church was damaged by an air raid on Valletta, which also destroyed the nearby Royal Opera House. In 2000, the National Fund of Malta began a restoration project: it was completed in 2016, you can visit the attraction today for free.
Inside the church is one long room with an altar: the walls, floors and ceilings are decorated with the Baroque style of different countries - you can see carved wooden elements, columns, cornices and garlands of curious shapes.
The paintings above the altar depict St. Anthony of Egypt and St. Anthony of Padua: the images were brought to Malta in 1530 by the Knights of Malta after Emperor Charles V transferred the island to the Order of St. John as his base. The church also holds the works of Francesco Zahra, Ermenegildo Greek and Enrico Arno.
Looks and unique paintings of interior surfaces created in the 16th century by famous masters also attract: most of the paintings were restored from 2000 to 2016.
- The church holds the heart of the Venetian Grand Admiral Angelo Emo, who died in 1792
- The church is included in the National Register of Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.
The object belongs to the churches.