St Mary Magdalene Chapel, Dingli
|Saint Mary Magdalene Chapel|
Kappella ta' Santa Marija Maddalena
|35°51′6.1″N 14°23′8.2″E / 35.851694°N 14.385611°E|
|Completed||15 April 1646|
Saint Mary Magdalene Chapel (Maltese: Kappella ta' Santa Marija Maddalena) is a Roman Catholic chapel in the limits of Dingli, Malta, dedicated to Mary Magdalene. It overlooks the Dingli Cliffs, and is therefore commonly known as il-kappella tal-irdum (chapel of the cliffs). The chapel was built in 1646 on the site of an earlier one which had existed since at least the 15th century. Its simple architecture is typical of Maltese wayside chapels.
The date of construction of the chapel is not known, but the oldest reference to the building was made in 1446. It is located on the Dingli Cliffs, far from the town itself, and it was used by farmers who lived in nearby farms. The chapel was in a state of disrepair by 1575, and it later collapsed. It was rebuilt in the 17th century, being reopened by Bishop Miguel Juan Balaguer Camarasa on 15 April 1646. The reconstruction is commemorated by a Latin inscription above its doorway.
In 1777, a plaque stating non gode l'immunita ecclesias was installed near the doorway to indicate that the chapel did not enjoy ecclesiastical immunity.
The chapel was deconsecrated by Bishop Gaetano Pace Forno in the 19th century, but it was later reconsecrated. It was hit by lightning on 4 February 1936, damaging the circular window on the façade, but it was later repaired.
In May 2005, the chapel began to be restored by the Restoration Unit of the Ministry of Resources and Infrastructure, under the supervision of architect David Vassallo. Restoration works included the strengthening of the roof, the replacement of old cement with hydraulic lime, and installing new paving for the chapel and its parvis. A replica non gode l'immunita ecclesias plaque was also installed, after the original had been stolen. The Dingli parish also commissioned a new altar, while Dun Ġwann Abela and his family donated an altarpiece. The restored chapel was inaugurated on 20 May 2007.
The chapel was hit again by lightning during a thunderstorm on 10 December 2014, damaging the window and the top part of the façade. Some debris hit the altar, damaging the altarpiece. The damage was subsequently repaired by the Restoration Directorate, and the chapel reopened in April 2015.
The chapel is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.
St. Mary Magdalene Chapel has a simple design, typical of Maltese wayside chapels. It has a rectangular structure, with its façade containing a single doorway and a circular window. A Latin inscription is located just above the door, while a slab originally containing a coat of arms is located above the window. A small parvis (Maltese: zuntier) is located outside the church, and a railing is located nearby to protect visitors to the chapel from falling down the cliffs.
The church has an altar built of Maltese limestone. The altarpiece is The Risen Christ by Paul Camilleri Cauchi, depicting Jesus forgiving a penitent Mary Magdalene after his resurrection.
- ^ a b c d e Brincat, Joe. "Il-knisja tal-Maddalena ~ Ħad-Dingli ~". Kappelli Maltin (in Maltese). Archived from the original on 24 January 2015.
- ^ "St. Mary Magdalene Chapel". Dingli Local Council. Archived from the original on 16 March 2016.
- ^ Scerri, John. "Dingli". malta-canada.com. Archived from the original on 26 February 2010.
- ^ "Lightning strike damages chapel". Times of Malta. 10 December 2014. Archived from the original on 13 August 2015.
- ^ "Steeple struck". Times of Malta. 11 December 2014. Archived from the original on 31 May 2016.
- ^ Zammit, Marion (21 April 2015). "Il-kappella tal-Maddalena f'Ħad-Dingli se terġa' tiftaħ il-bibien tagħha". newsbook.com.mt (in Maltese). Archived from the original on 31 May 2016.
- ^ "Chapel of Mary Magdalene" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 28 March 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 July 2016.
Media related to St. Mary Magdalene Chapel (Dingli) at Wikimedia Commons
- Roman Catholic chapels in Malta
- Limestone churches in Malta
- Roman Catholic churches completed in 1646
- Vernacular architecture in Malta
- Medieval Maltese architecture
- 1646 establishments in Malta
- National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands
- 17th-century Roman Catholic church buildings in Malta