Built on the site of a Roman temple dedicated to the goddess Juno, the present church was constructed between 1697 and 1711.

The Cathedral, enclosed in the Citadel, is a fine baroque structure designed by Maltese architect Lorenzo Gafa in the form of a Latin cross. It is built entirely from local lime stone.

A tall belfry with five bells at the back of the Cathedral replaces the usual two belfries at the front while a 1739 painting on the ceiling inside gives the impression of a dome when in reality the roof of the cathedral is flat. This painting is such a masterpiece of perspective and trompe l’oeil that sometimes it is hard to convince first-time visitors that there really is no dome.

Another attraction of the Cathedral is the statue of Santa Marija (The Assumption of Our Lady) which was made in Rome in 1897. The feast of the Assumption of Our Lady to Heaven – the cathedral’s annual festa – is celebrated on the 15th of August, which is also a national holiday.

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