Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Basilica

Sandwiched inside a city block in Valletta sits the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The most striking feature of this church is it’s huge dome, which can be seen across the city, but is particularly striking on the Valletta skyline when looking from nearby Sliema. Despite the historic way it looks, this is actually a modern church, built on the site of one which was destroyed in WW2. Construction started in 1958 and it was completed in 1981. Inside, the dome is once again the most impressive feature and when you visit you’ll spend most of the time with your head angled upwards!

One thing you’ll notice inside is that there are very few windows apart from the ones in the lantern that circle the dome. The light that these windows create, fills the whole church. The seating is all moveable, which creates an open space when needed and the altars are positioned around the outer walls. The main altar (pictured below) is the most ornate part of the church, but on the whole, the interior is simple and unfussy. There is though an impressive painting of Our Lady of Mt Carmel.

Even though the church itself is fairly new, the history of the Carmelite order in Valletta goes back much further. The land was provided by a knight of the order of St John in the 1500s and the previous church on this site was completed around 1600. It offered a place of worship for hundreds of years before being severely damaged in a bombing raid on 4th March 1942. It was subsequently decided to demolish the ruins and start again building from the ground up.

The 42 metre high dome on the basilica makes this the tallest building in Valletta. However, it stands in one of the lower parts of the city and as such you actually look down up on it from some of the streets that are higher up. The best way to get to the church is to walk down the side of the old Guard House opposite the Grand Master’s Palace. While you’re in the area, be sure to check out the Church of England’s St Paul’s Cathedral which is almost next door, slightly further down the hill.

The basilica of Our Lady Of Mount Carmel is open every day although access is limited on Sundays due to services. Admission is free but donations are appreciated at the various boxes inside.


Address: Basilica Of Our Lady Of Mount Carmel, Triq it-Teatru l-Antik, Il-Belt, Valletta, Malta​​
Phone: +356 2123 3808


Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Official Website
Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Wikipedia
Hotels in Valletta – Booking.com
More Things To Do In Valletta – GetYourGuide