Cathedral of the Assumption, Gozo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven
Katidral ta' Santa Marija Assunta
Cathedral of St.Mary - 01.jpg
The cathedral's façade in 2017
36°2′46.4″N 14°14′24.1″E / 36.046222°N 14.240028°E / 36.046222; 14.240028Coordinates: 36°2′46.4″N 14°14′24.1″E / 36.046222°N 14.240028°E / 36.046222; 14.240028
LocationVictoria, Gozo, Malta
DenominationRoman Catholic
Websitegozodiocese.org
History
StatusCathedral
Dedicated11 October 1716
Architecture
Functional statusActive
Architect(s)Lorenzo Gafà
StyleBaroque
Years built1697–1711
Specifications
MaterialsLimestone
Administration
MetropolisCoat of arms of Charles Jude Scicluna.svg Archdiocese of Malta
DioceseCoA Anton Teuma.png Diocese of Gozo
ProvinceMalta
Clergy
Bishop(s)Anton Teuma
ArchpriestJoseph Sultana
ArchdeaconTarcisio Camilleri

The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven (Maltese: Katidral ta' Santa Marija Assunta) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the Cittadella of Victoria in Gozo, Malta. The cathedral is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, and it has been the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gozo since the formation of the diocese in 1864.

History[edit]

The Cittadella was initially a pre-historic settlement[1] and later a Roman temple dedicated to Juno was developed, and the remains of this temple existed until the present day as part of the cathedral.[2] Following the Christianization of Malta and Gozo, the temple was converted into a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Later on, Byzantine church was probably built on the site of the temple, until it was destroyed while Malta was under Arab rule.[3]

The cathedral's façade

Following the expulsion of the Arabs, another church was built. The earliest reference of a parish church within the Cittadella dates back to 1299, and it was enlarged over the course of the 15th and 16th centuries. The church was sacked by the Ottomans during the invasion of 1551, but was reopened by September 1554. It was damaged once again in the earthquake of 1693, and the decision was taken to demolish the old building and construct a new church instead.[3]

The nobleman Felice Axac was a major benefactor in the church's reconstruction.[4] The foundation stone of the present church was laid down on 21 September 1697, and the building was designed by the Maltese architect Lorenzo Gafà.[5] It was inaugurated on 14 August 1711, and was dedicated on 11 October 1716.[3]

The church was elevated to a cathedral when it became the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gozo, which was established on 16 September 1864.[6]

The building is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.[5]

Architecture[edit]

Interior of the cathedral, with the trompe-l'œil painting of the dome visible

The cathedral is built in Baroque architecture, and its groundplan has the shape of a Latin cross. The building's façade is similar to that of the Church of the Gesù in Rome. The cathedral has a bell tower on its north-east side.[5]

The interior of the cathedral is well-proportioned, containing pilasters raised on tall platforms. The building has an aperture for a dome, but this is roofed over with a flat ceiling containing a trompe-l'œil painting.[3][7]

Cathedral Museum[edit]

The Cathedral Museum is housed in a building with a plain façade located behind the church.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mallia, Steve (22 December 2003). "Roman wall unearthed at Gozo cathedral". Times of Malta. Archived from the original on 13 September 2020.
  2. ^ "In Malta and Gozo". p. 96.
  3. ^ a b c d "Rabat – Katidral". Gozo Diocese. Archived from the original on 4 September 2019.
  4. ^ Gauci, Charles A. (2019). "The Heraldry of the Nobility and Gentry of Gozo – From Medieval Times until the Onset of British Rule: Part 1" (PDF). The Gozo Observer. 40: 21–31. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 September 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "Cathedral of the Assumption of the Madonna" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 27 August 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 April 2019.
  6. ^ Bezzina, Joseph (1985). Religion and politics in a Crown Colony: The Gozo–Malta story, 1798–1864. Valletta: Bugelli Publications. p. 302.
  7. ^ The historical guide to the island of Malta and its dependencies. p. 84.
  8. ^ "Cathedral Museum" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 27 August 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 September 2020.

External links[edit]