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This blog is dedicated to Malta - my island home. My aim is not to bore you with history but to share my thoughts and a few facts together with a photo or two. For a more in -depth background of the island please go here. The purpose of this blog is not to point out the short-comings of the island. There are plenty that do that already. My wish is to show you the beauty of an island at the cross roads of the Mediterranean, a melting pot of history; a place where fact and fiction are sometimes fused to create unique myths and legends; a country that has been conquered so many times that our culture is a mish mesh of the lands that surround us and of lands far away. I confess that my greatest desire is to make you fall in love with this tiny enchanting island.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wayside Chapels (5) – St Matthew at Il-Maqluba

 Il-Maqluba (54)        

The chapel of St Matthew is situated right above the doline known as il-Maqluba on the outskirts of the village of Qrendi . There are actually two chapels adjacent to each other. The smaller building that you can see towards the left of the photo below is the first chapel dedicated to St Matthew that was built on this site. The style of the building and its interior suggest that this chapel was built in the middle ages.

Il-Maqluba (59)

The day we happened to visit the area, the care-taker of the chapels was making preparations for a wedding so we were able to go inside both the chapels. The interior of the older chapel is quite bare with a beautiful carved motif on and behind the altar.

Il-Maqluba (61)

Il-Maqluba (64)

The bigger chapel, which was built in 1674, is a product of the Baroque era with small stained-glass windows and a large titular painting of St Matthew hanging over the altar.

Il-Maqluba (65)

 

Il-Maqluba (67)

The original painting was by the renowned artist Mattia Preti and was completed in 1688. It is now in safe-keeping while a copy hangs in its place. This precaution was taken after the Preti painting was stolen in the 1960s.

Il-Maqluba (66)

The church was hit  by a bomb during the war and some structural changes were carried out on the facade: two belfries were added while the central belfry was removed.

Il-Maqluba (53)

9 comments:

  1. Wow..Loree..this was a fabulous post!!!...love the history and all the gorgeous photos...the very first one is my FAVE!! Magnificent!!
    Kiki~

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  2. Mine too!
    Wonderful informative post and majestic images...

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  3. Superb. I wonder if that motif is the Santiago (de Compostela) shell. I think it probably is.

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  4. How nice that you were able to go inside both chapels. I like the carved motif, the stained glass and the painting of St. Matthew. Great pics and info.

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  5. These are beautiful photos ... and I am glad they didn't get too carried away in the Baroque period. It's really lovely. (They did that in Assisi with the old Temple of Minerva ... they didn't know the meaning of "over the top!" :)

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  6. Very interesting ! there are so many nice things to see in Malta apparently !

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  7. What has always enchanted me in these old chapel is their colourful stained-glass windows...

    Very pretty, Loree.

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  8. What an amazing thing to be able to live among all that beauty and history.

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