Rotunda of Mosta

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Rotunda of the Assumption
Knisja Arċipretali tal-Assunta (Maltese)
Domen i Mosta.jpg
Facade of the Rotunda of the Assumption.
Basic information
Location Mosta, Malta
Geographic coordinates 35°54′36.29″N 14°25′33.24″E / 35.9100806°N 14.4259000°E / 35.9100806; 14.4259000Coordinates: 35°54′36.29″N 14°25′33.24″E / 35.9100806°N 14.4259000°E / 35.9100806; 14.4259000
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Rite Latin
Year consecrated 1871
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Parish
Architectural description
Architect(s) Giorgio Grognet de Vassé
Architectural type Church
Groundbreaking 1614
Completed 1860s
Direction of façade SSE
Length 75 metres (246 ft)
Width 55 metres (180 ft)
Materials Limestone

The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, commonly known as the Rotunda of Mosta or Rotunda of Santa Maria Assunta, is a Roman Catholic church in Mosta, Malta. It is the third largest unsupported dome in the world and the third largest church in Europe.[1][2]


Built in the 19th century on the site of a previous church, it was designed by the Maltese Giorgio Grognet de Vassé.[3] As Grognet was not an architect, he had received consultation services from the Sammut family.[4] Its dome is among the largest in the world, with an internal diameter of 37.2 metres (122 ft);[5][6] the rotunda walls are 9.1 metres (30 ft) thick (necessary to support the weight of the dome).[5] The rotunda dome is the third-largest church dome in Europe and the ninth largest in the world.

It has a neo-classic exterior[7] and a baroque interior.

Grongnet's plans were based on the Pantheon in Rome.[8] Construction began in May 1833 and was completed in the 1860s. The original church was left in place while the Rotunda was built around it, allowing the local people to have a place of worship while the new church was being built. The church was officially consecrated on the 15 of October 1871.[9]

Mosta bomb miracle[edit]

On April 9, 1942, during an afternoon air-raid, a SC500 kg general purpose Luftwaffe bomb pierced the dome (one 50 kg bomb bounced off) and fell among a congregation of more than 300 people awaiting early evening mass. It did not explode. The same type of bomb as pierced the dome is now on display ( the original was dumped at sea) at the back of the church in the Sacristy under the words Il-Miraklu tal-Bomba, 9 ta' April 1942 (Maltese: The Bomb Miracle, April 9, 1942).


By the time of its construction there was no other comparable church in the world, not even Europe. This is due to its modern architectural design from the exterior and the interior.[10]


See also[edit]



External links[edit]