Cathedral of the Assumption, Gozo

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Cathedral of the Assumption
Gozo Cathedral
Cathedral of St.Mary - 01.jpg
View of the Cathedral of the Assumption
Cathedral of the Assumption is located in Malta
Cathedral of the Assumption
Cathedral of the Assumption
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
DenominationRoman Catholic
Dedicated11 October 1716
Architect(s)Lorenzo Gafà
Architectural typeCathedral
Years built1697–1711
MetropolisCoat of arms of Charles Jude Scicluna.svg Archdiocese of Malta
DioceseCoat of arms of Mario Grech.svg Diocese of Gozo
Bishop(s)Mario Grech
ArchpriestJoseph Sultana
ArchdeaconTarcisio Camilleri

The Cathedral of the Assumption 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.


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 foundation stone of the present church was laid down on 21 September 1697, and the building was designed by the Maltese architect Lorenzo Gafà.[4] 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.[5]

The building is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.[4]


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.[4]

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][6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "In Malta and Gozo". p. 96.
  3. ^ a b c d "Rabat - Katidral". Gozo Diocese. Archived from the original on 22 August 2015.
  4. ^ 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 8 December 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ Joseph Bezzina, Religion and Politics in a Crown Colony, Valletta 1985, p.302./
  6. ^ The historical guide to the island of Malta and its dependencies. p. 84.

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