Advantages Visually impressive building; free admission
Disadvantages None really
Not many people know that many moons ago I completed the first year of a degree in the History of Art and Architecture. I decided after the first year that I didn’t want to continue and subsequently took a degree in Politics. My interest in art and architecture has not diminished, however, and although these days you’re much more likely to find me in the country than the city, I still get excited by flying buttresses, pilasters and caryatids. (Look ‘em up, this isn’t a lesson in architectural features!)While we were on a bus bound for Mdina, the ancient capital of Malta, we passed though the town of Mosta which is dominated by the Church of St Marija Assunta, more commonly known as the Mosta Rotunda Church. I hadn’t heard of the church before and was immediately struck by its unusual circular shape and its rather magnificent classical portico. There are many churches on Malta and its sister island Gozo but this one is notable because it can be seen from all over the island.
A couple of steps lead to the imposing portico which comprises a double row of six beefy columns flanked by two belfries; there's a clock under each bell chamber. What struck me about the church is that while the very correct classical portico is perfect to the last detail, the dome in comparison looks almost makeshift, as if they were two different buildings. The dome is not round like, for example, that of St. Paul's cathedral in London, is climbs mort gently, tapering rather than curving.
The interior is rather magnificent. There's an impressive main dome as well as elegant half domes over each little side chapel.
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