Malta Trip Photos: Second Installment


in Photo essays, Photography, Travel

I will keep posting photos here that are not quite arty enough to be part of the album, but which have some documentary value that compensates. As a bonus, all photos on the blog are included at 1024×768 resolution, while those on are a maximum of 800×600. People wanting the full 2048×1536 jpeg files my camera produces can request them by email or comment.

Valletta fortifications

Valletta’s status as a frequently invaded city is demonstrated by the elaborate fortifications that have been constructed around the harbour.

Valletta harbour ramp

An important trans-shipment point between the countries circling the Mediterranean, Malta has extensive ship building and material transfer capabilities, both in Valletta Harbour and on the south side of the island near the main power plant.

St. John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta

The interior of St. John’s Co-Cathedral is both elaborate and unusual. The church is rectangular, with alcoves along the edges and a semi-cylindrical roof. Also, can anyone – perhaps Tony – enlighten me as to the meaning of a ‘co’ cathedral?

Cathedral tombstone

The emergence of skeletonized dead from tombs is an exceptionally common motif on the panels that make up the cathedral floor, each of which seems to be a grave marker.

Alena Prazak

My mother under an archway in central Valletta.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous April 2, 2006 at 7:58 pm

The photos at are also available in a presentation, with captions.

B April 3, 2006 at 12:59 am

Can anyone translate the Latin on that spooky slab?

Not Tony April 3, 2006 at 11:47 am

Re: Co-Cathedral of St. John

The name, Co-Cathedral, refers to its later, dual role. In the 1820s, the Bishop of Malta, whose seat was at Mdina, was allowed to use St John’s as an alternative see, hence the name Co-Cathedral.

Meghan Mathieson April 13, 2006 at 12:42 am

Here is my best guess as to the medieval Latin on the tombstone.

Deo excertiuum Fr. Io-nnes Franciscus de Ricasolis perceptor comendar
sacrum magni de gradulo sacrum io de bettona et sacrum sepulchri de
florentia hoc tumulum vivens posuit. AD MDCLXII.

The flocks of God have taken possession of Fr. John Francis of
Ricasolis, consuming his position of great holiness. The sacred
exclamations are thunderous and a sacred grave of flowers he has
placed this living tomb. In the year of our Lord 1662.

You can post it on your blog if you want.

Milan April 18, 2006 at 1:01 pm

The collection of my best photos from Malta are in this album.

Annotated versions are also coming up, in this presentation.

Rev David Smith April 22, 2007 at 12:10 am

Saint John’s is a “co-cathedral” because the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Malta has two cathedrals – the Archbishop has a throne (or “cathedra”, as I’m sure you know) in both Saint John’s, Valletta and Saint Paul’s, Mdina. Perhaps he chooses which cathedra to sit upon according to whether he fancies a cappucino at the Cordina, or a Cisk at the Fontanella?
Examples of co-cathedrals could once be found in the English diocese of Bath & Wells and Coventry & Lichfield. In the former case, Wells is now the cathedral; the latter has now been separated into two separate diocese.

On the other hand, Saint Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in Valletta is called a “pro-cathedral”. In Anglican terms, Malta is part of the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe, so the bishop’s throne is at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, Gibraltar. However, the diocese covers the whole of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Russias (one-sixth of the Earth’s land mass!), so the Bishop goes to the country concerned for confirmations and ordinations. In effect, Saint Paul’s, Valletta is a parish church that the bishop uses when he visits the island.

This is more information than you needed.


Milan April 22, 2007 at 12:17 am


Thanks a lot for the information.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: