St. Paul's Collegiate Church - Rabat, Malta
|Date Added: May 25, 2012 03:15:25 PM|
|Category: Europe: Malta|
St Paul's Collegiate Church in Rabat, Malta, was built on top of St Paul's Grotto, the cave in which St Paul was supposed to have stayed after he became shipwrecked on his way to Rome. It can be found to the left of St Paul's Grotto.
A church existed on that site at least as far back as 640 years ago, as it is mentioned in a document that was written in 1372.
According to legend, St Publius was baptized and later consecrated Bishop of Malta in the two small chapels nearby.
St Paul's Collegiate Church was built in the 16th century.
Originally a parish church, in the early 17th century, it became a collegiate church of the Order of St John.
After the earthquake of 1683, the church was rebuilt.
Works of art inside St Paul's Collegiate Church include a statue of St Paul in his Grotto, which was begun by the sculptor Melchiorre Gafa and completed by Ercole Ferrata after Gafa's death.
The church contains works by Mattia Preti, such as a painting of the stoning of St Stephen and an altarpiece of St Publius.
Paintings of St Anne and of St Paul's shipwreck are by Stefano Erardi.
In the 20th century, the church's vault and dome were painted by Elio Coccoli.
The Wignacourt Museum, located next to the church, was originally an archive of books and manuscripts of the Order of John. It was founded by Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt in 1617. In 1981, it was converted to a museum. The Wignaport Museum contains many works of art, including Punico-Roman pottery dating back to 600 BC. lt also has old coins and maps, rare books,scuptures and portraits.