Cathedral of the Assumption in Il Kastell citadel.

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Cathedral of the Assumption

Victoria (Rabat)

Built between 1697 and 1711 to replace a church destroyed by a 1693 earthquake (which was in southern Italy but caused damage as far Gozo), the cathedral was designed by Lorenzo Gafa, also responsible for St Paul's Cathedral at Mdina. The elegant facade is adorned with the escutcheons of Grand Master Ramon de Perellos and Bishop Palmieri. Due to a lack of funds the dome was never finished, but a trompe l'œil painting makes it look as if it were.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Victoria (Rabat) attractions

1. Cathedral Museum

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This jumble of objects within the Cathedral Museum includes a zucchetto (skull cap) worn by Pope Francis, church gold and silver, some religious art …

2. St John's Demi-Bastion

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There is a good panorama from here. Look for the huge dome of the Rotunda at Xewkija, with Comino and Malta in the background; the distant Gothic spire of…

3. Gran Castello Historic House

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This folklore museum is a lovely maze of stairs, rooms and courtyards. The fine, rambling old building itself, dating to 1500, houses a collection of…

5. Archaeology Museum

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Victoria's Archaeology Museum houses some incredible finds. There are some 'fat lady' carvings from Ġgantija Temples and Xagħra, around 3000 to 4000 years…

6. Main Gate

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Note the Roman inscription on the left-hand inner wall from the 2nd century AD.

7. Chapel of St Joseph

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Renaissance chapel originally dedicated to St Nicholas. It was built in 1625 on the site of another more simple chapel already dedicated to the saint.

8. Old Prison

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The Old Prison served as a jail from the late 1500s to 1904, and proved particularly useful for locking up hot-tempered Knights until they cooled off. The…