Church of the Jesuits

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The Church of the Jesuits is one of the oldest churches in Valletta being built 1592-1600 and was the first in the Baroque style.

First impressions are of a plain cream painted church building. The nave is huge with two side aisles. The dome and apse with high altar, are surrounded by decorative carved pillars on either side which support a round arch above with angels. On either side of the nave are massive supports for the side arches which have decorative carved pillars on either side. Most of the side arches have plain carved undersides although two are painted. There are small unpainted domes above the side altars which are separated by walls with narrow archways through them. There are semicircular religious paintings above these. The side altars have elaborate stone carvings round them. Some have barley corn twisted pillars and cherubs. The transept altars are larger and more elaborate.

There is a free standing carving of Christ in a side arch holding red flag with white cross on it ( is this the crusaders’ flag?) and two soldiers on either side. There is a large carved dark wood pulpit, almost the only touch of colour in the church and a small balcony with an organ.

This church is off the usual tourist itinerary and receives few visitors. This is a shame as it is an interesting church and very different to the others in Valletta.

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