St. John's Co-Cathedral
St. John's Co-Cathedral
4.5
Historic SitesArchitectural BuildingsReligious SitesChurches & Cathedrals
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
About
Built between 1573 and 1577, this cathedral contains two masterpieces by Caravaggio. St John’s Co-Cathedral is a gem of Baroque art and architecture. It was built as the conventual church for the Knights of St John. This church is till this very day an important shrine and a sacred place of worship. It is also a venue for cultural events. The construction was commissioned in 1572 by Grand Master Jean de la Cassière to serve as the conventual church of the Knights of Malta and designed by the Maltese military architect Gerolamo Cassar. The church was dedicated to St John the Baptist, the patron saint of the Order. The oratory holds the biggest and only signed masterpiece by Caravaggio. St John’s church is administered by the St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation responsible for the religious cultural heritage of the monument.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • James D
    Bere Regis, United Kingdom80 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Overwhelming interior
    There are plenty of highly decorated cathedrals around the world, but this holds its own with the best of them. Beautiful gilded wood and plaster encrust all the walls, and the floor is a mosaic of marble memorial slabs. Just makes you wonder how they did it all.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 3 March 2023
  • Patrick O
    Mount Holly, North Carolina1,153 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    If You Can Only See One Cathedral on Malta, This is it!
    We went here near the end of the day after spending the day on the water around Camino. Our driver got us here an hour before it closed and it was magnificent to say the least. There is a fee, but that includes headsets to wear during a self guided tour. Get the headsets! The commentary is wonderfully done. The artwork, the main alter, the side alters, the windows, and the ceilings are all ornate and beautiful. Be sure to note the the memorial tombs on the floor. If the balcony is open, go up the stairs for magnificent views from above. Be sure to check out the gallery that contains the famous painting of The Beheading of John The Baptist by Caravaggio. Do not miss this as you will be amazed. They were open from 9:30-4:00. Be sure to check the times as you want at least an hour to see it all.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 4 March 2023
  • Reiblein
    61 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful building and peaceful atmosphere.
    It is a lovely peaceful place to visit with lots to see. Beautiful art works and sculptures. You can sit and relax as you look around you and take in the feeling of this ancient building and the thousands of islanders and visitors who have been here before you.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 5 March 2023
  • hazban
    Keswick, United Kingdom141 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    So impressed
    There are many religious buildings in Malta many are impressive but this one is spectacular. It is difficult to take in all the details, it's important to use one of the avaliable quides. Allow plenty of time to appreciate the workmanship taken many centuries ago.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 March 2023
  • Terry M
    Hamilton, Canada4,644 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    THE INTERIOR DAZZLES IN MANY WAYS
    Malta already had a cathedral at Mdina, hence the odd name. Its exterior is as bland as it gets save for the calendar and clock where you exit. The interior is lavish with a nice altar and side chapels. Of special note is the Oratory where there are not one but two Caravaggio paintings, including his beheading of Christ, the only one he ever signed. If you can, spend more time inside to soak up this opulent interior.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 21 March 2023
  • Dan Andrei
    Bucharest, Romania10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The history and the opulence is quite impressive
    A cathedral filled with history and opulence. It is an absolute must-see. The entrance fee was around 15 euros, but you will receive an audio guide in the most popular languages, so the price is well worth it. The architecture is stunning, with the nave fresca being particularly impressive. The audio guide was extremely helpful in understanding how much work went into the cathedral's construction and Caravaggio's life in Malta. If you follow the audio guide from room to room, you will eventually find yourself on a balcony overlooking the interior of the cathedral, where you can admire all of the marble tombs on the floor. Try to come as early as possible and you will avoid the crowded hours.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 23 March 2023
  • Faithfultraveler
    Halifax, Canada1,203 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Remarkable!!!
    Wow! Incredible! Our photos show only a few highlights of one of the most remarkable churches in the world; see attached 18 pics of 100+ taken in the 2+ hours we took to take it all in, highly recommend!
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 April 2023
  • 32Mike1948
    Paphos, Cyprus10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Magnificent!
    No favourite, as it was all stunningly beautiful with an excellent audio guide. We were both overwhelmed by the sheer beauty and skill of the craftsmen/women who produced the interior of this magnificent cathedral. The bland exterior of the building belies the amazingly rich interior. Uplifting experience.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 8 May 2023
  • Debra H
    Loughborough, United Kingdom78 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Incredible ...................
    We had already planned before leaving the UK, to visit the Cathedral. However, we were recommended by a security guard to pre-order tickets on line and avoid the long entry queue. He was right, out hotel front desk were able to get the on line tickets for us and we went straight in. The Cathedral is quite superb. Not just the altars, the paintings and the tapestries, but the floor. It's rich with themes colourful stones that house tomb tombs. It's is quite breathtaking mainly because each of the Knights of St John, spent more money to outdo the others.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 May 2023
  • genibre69
    London, United Kingdom3,409 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Incredible interior
    Hands down one of the most beautiful cathedrals I have ever visited… and I’ve been to hundreds of churches all over the world. The included audioguide is extremely helpful although there are numerous plaques everywhere in English. BUY TICKETS ONLINE! Saves you hours of waiting in a queue. I just dinked one star as I’m still struggling with the €15 entry fee… it’s just SO expensive to enter a cathedral.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 14 May 2023
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles12,440 reviews
Excellent
9,559
Very good
2,273
Average
439
Poor
91
Terrible
78

dommotommo
Warrington, UK62 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Stunning, breathtaking and mesmerising. Literally in awe of how beautiful this place is. Irrespective of your religion, this is a must see on your visit to Valletta
Written 2 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robert C
Chatham, Canada205 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Perhaps the most historic site in Valletta. Art from Caravaggio, history of the Knights and pillar of the RC faith; one of the most elaborate cathedrals I’ve seen. Shouldn’t miss it. Even better, attend mass for an even more moving experience.
Written 28 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nicoleta A
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
An amazing experience! Art and history in one place, the tour of the clock tower (99 steps) in which Marline explained to us with professionalism and humor what we needed to know. A wonderful host indeed!
Written 26 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fred
Hereford, UK28 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
We visited in February and I’m glad we did! Fantastic interior showcasing the wealth of the founding knights at a complete contrast with the exterior elevations. The ceiling depicting the life of St. John is wonderful and the ledger stones are the most intricate ive seen. Well worth a visit even if you’re not into architecture. The audio guide is free as a must so you can understand the different chapels and their decoration.
Entrance is located on the north side and we managed to jump the queue as we had a push chair.
Tower tour was interesting. Easy climbing but remember to buy the extra ticket when you enter.
Written 24 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gints K
Riga, Latvia169 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
This is a real gem in Valletta and although the building looks like any other building from the outside, the inside will surprise you. There wasn't a big crowd in the morning in winter, but later in the day there was already quite a long queue for tickets.
Written 20 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susan D
Poole, UK6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
We walked in to this church ,it didn’t look anything from the outside but the inside was absolutely breathtaking I have been in lots of churches and this is up there with the best. It’s just stunning worth the 15 euro entrance fee.
Written 10 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Eric H
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
Last Tuesday we had a tour with Ian, and he was very knowledge. He explained about the history of the cathedral, the belfry, the clock, and the hanging tapestries. He was funny, also, cracking jokes that made the tour more enjoyable. If you go there (which I highly recommend!), get him as your tour guide, if you can.
Written 8 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

soinic
Lux.2,235 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
As soon as you enter the cathedral you are overwhelmed:

The entire floor is made of inlaid marble tombstones of deceased knights.

Look up: plenty of gold and beautiful wood carving.

The 8 side chapels belonged to different "langues" which were the national regions of the Order.

Don't miss the visit of the oratory!! And admire Carvaggios "Beheading of St.John the Baptist"!

It is also funny to watch the many, many groups of tourists rushed by their guides through the cathedral in a high speed tempo 🙈
Written 8 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mikejill2013
Portstewart, UK15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
Been looking forward to this visit for many years. Did not disappoint. Leave yourself lots of time to enjoy the history. There’s so much more than The Beheading of John the Baptist..amazing though that is.
Written 5 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janet F
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
Although we live in Malta we had never visited the cathedral and we certainly were not disappointed, it’s amazing. We did the bell tower tour with Rosetta and what a wonderful experience. She was very knowledgeable and although we are both seniors we managed the 99 steps! Would recommend to anyone.
Written 1 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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St. John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta

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