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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wow..Loree..this was a fabulous post!!!...love the history and all the gorgeous photos...the very first one is my FAVE!! Magnificent!!ReplyDelete
Wonderful informative post and majestic images...
Superb. I wonder if that motif is the Santiago (de Compostela) shell. I think it probably is.ReplyDelete
Great photos and history!!!ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
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!" :)ReplyDelete
Very interesting ! there are so many nice things to see in Malta apparently !ReplyDelete
What has always enchanted me in these old chapel is their colourful stained-glass windows...ReplyDelete
Very pretty, Loree.
What an amazing thing to be able to live among all that beauty and history.ReplyDelete