mosta village & mosta rotunda

A Guide To The Village Of Mosta + Dome

The village of Mosta is more known and looked for as the Mosta Rotunda or the Mosta Dome which is a large neoclassical church that was built in the mid-19th century and is known for its impressive dome.

Mosta (Il-Mosta in Maltese) is a picturesque village with a population of 20,000 people located in the heart of Malta that's a popular tourist attraction because of its church. It also has a lively town center, traditional Maltese architecture, and numerous restaurants and cafes.

The Mosta Rotunda.The Rotunda of Mosta

But on the whole, the village of Mosta Malta also offers a unique glimpse into Maltese culture and history. You can explore the narrow streets, visit the local markets, and indulge in traditional Maltese cuisine.

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why visit the mosta dome

What is so special about this church!

The spectacular and unique architecture of this majestic Roman Catholic church is just as intriguing as the stories it has to tell.

The church is one of the most visited in Malta. There is a lot of interest in visiting this striking church with its gigantic dome, which dominates the skyline of the town.

visitors information about the mosta dome

Where is Mosta Dome?: Rotunda Square, Mosta.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 09:30 to 17:00; Saturday from 09:30 to 16:30; Sunday from 12:00 (Noon) to 16:00.

Entrance payment: The Mosta Dome and sacristy are free for worship. However, the museum and war shelters where the bomb is located is at a minimum fee of €2 from the ages of 12 upwards.

Accessibility: The Mosta Rotunda is stroller and wheelchair accessible via a ramp. The shelters are not accessible to wheelchair.

Length of Stay: To tour the church you need around 30 to 45 minutes. If you are considering going to the museum and shelters you need to add an additional 1 hour.

Inside Mosta Dome.Inside Mosta Dome

13 Interesting Facts about Mosta Rotunda

There are some fascinating facts about the Mosta Dome.

  1. The church official name: It is called Sanctuary Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, and it is a Roman Catholic parish church.
  2. The Mosta Rotunda: It is the third largest unsupported dome in the world.
  3. Church design: It was influenced by Rome's Pantheon. (can we include a photo to add more KW)
  4. Dimensions: This dome measures 37.2 meters (122 feet) in diameter and 61 meters (200 feet) in height. The walls are nearly 9.1 metres (30 feet) thick.
  5. The design: An architect from Malta designed the neoclassical church under the direction of Giorgio Grognet de Vassé.
  6. The local Mosta community: The local population wanted a bigger church to accommodate the growing population in the area. They themselves took part in the including on Sundays and Public Holidays.
  7. Construction dates: The church construction began on 30th May 1833 and was completed 23 years later.
  8. The old church: The new church structure was built around the same old church which was built in 1614, which in itself posed various challenges. In the course of construction, this old church continued to be used for worshop.
  9. The famous undetonated bomb: During World War II, a German aircraft dropped a bomb on the church on 9 April 1942 while over 300 people were attending mass. Miracle of miracles, the bomb landed on the floor of the church and slid across the floor without exploding. Locals still celebrate this event as a miracle every year.
  10. The second dropped bomb: During the same bombardment there was a second bomb which while falling cleared the triangle on the roof of the church's facade on the left but neither this exploded.
  11. The replica bomb: It is displayed at the church's museum within this church. Read a full report about the facts behind the 1942 Miracle Bomb.
  12. The village feast: On the 15th of August, Mosta celebrates the feast of Santa Maria, also called the Assumption of Mary. This is the town's biggest feast, with church functions, processions, band marches, fireworks, and local street food.
  13. Good Friday procession: A procession is held around several Mosta streets on every Good Friday of each year for the past 150 years. Jesus Christ's passion and death is commemorated during the procession. Other statues depict scenes from the Passion of Christ, including the Virgin Mary, St. John, and others. Being present to witness it is an intense experience since it provides insight into Maltese customs and religious beliefs.
  14. Easter Sunday procession: It is tradition for the Mosta parish church to organize a procession every Easter Sunday morning. The statue of the Risen Christ is carried through the streets accompanied by the sound of church bells and the local band clubs. There are visitors from all over Malta who come to see the procession, which is deeply meaningful to the local community.

how to get to mosta

The village of Mosta is in the central region of the island of Malta and also quite well connected to other locations around is the island. There are quite a few connections on how to get to Mosta:

Getting to Mosta by Bus: All the following bus routes stop or can be caught from Mosta square, meters away from the Mosta Dome.

  • From Valletta: Routes 31, 41, 42, 44, 45, 47, 48, 260
  • From St Julian’s: Route 202
  • From Sliema: Routes 202, 203
  • From Buġibba: Routes 203, 186
  • From Mellieħa: Route 42
  • From Airport: Take the X3 bus to Wied bus stop in Birkirkara and switch to route 41 to Mosta.

Getting to Mosta by Car: If you are driving your own vehicle or a rental car, you can easily reach Mosta. The town is easily accessible from anywhere on the island since it is located on the main road that runs through the center. Parking in Mosta can be found in the residential streets.

Catching a Taxi to Mosta: Today multiple taxi apps are available in Malta where you can catch a taxi very quickly and get to your destination. Apart from that you can hail a taxi on the street.

Getting to Mosta with the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus: If you have planned to take the sightseeing bus, then you are in luck, as the North Route passes and stop at Mosta.

Townhouse in Mosta.Townhouse in Mosta

mosta what to see & do

Mosta War Shelter: A visit to the World War II shelter is included in the entrance fee to the church. The tunnel was dug between 1940 and 1941 in solid rock. The corridor runs for 7 meters under the main square and was excavated by 15 skilled workers in day and night shifts. Locals who needed shelter can take shelter in a few cubicles on the side. There is a steep staircase cut into the rock at each end of the shelter.

Ta' Qali Crafts Village: A small complex in Ta' Qali with Maltese style buildings houses several shops selling gold, silver, filigree jewellery, ceramics, paints and leather goods. It is a popular tourist destination known for its unique handicrafts and artisanal products.

Malta Aviation Museum: A collection of aircraft and aviation artefacts telling the whole story about Malta's aviation history. The museum features a range of exhibits, including military planes, helicopters, and aviation engines.

Ta' Bistra Catacombs: They are a complex of underground tombs and burial chambers that date back to Roman times. Visitors to the catacombs can see niches in the walls, arched niches, and small chambers for children buried there. The tombs also include carvings and frescoes depicting Christian symbols.

The Victoria Lines: Built by the British military in the late 19th century. They pass through Mosta from Madliena to Fomm ir-Rih. This was built as a defense for the northern part of the island. Today, they're a popular hiking trail offering scenic views of the countryside.

mosta in the earlier days

Mosta is a very old village and it has changed drastically overtime. Below are some photos of Mosta including the surroundings of Mosta Dome.

The following three images are all Public Domain which means they are copyright free.

Feast Mosta in 1913.Feast in Mosta in 1913
Mosta main road in 1900 showing the parish churchMosta main road in 1900
Isperanza Chapel Mosta.Ta' l-Isperanza chapel and valley at Mosta

tours to mosta

On the tours, you will see some of the most interesting highlights in the centre of Malta. Visit the Mosta Dome, the Ta' Qali Crafts Village, the Aviation Museum at Ta' Qali, and Malta's former capital, Mdina, a World War II shelter, and the Ta' Qali Crafts Village. Locations to be visited will depend on the individual tour that you choose.

The Dome from inside the Rotunda.Dome of the Mosta Church

questions about the mosta village

How big is Mosta?

The town of Mosta is 6.8 square kilometres and has a population of around 20,000 people.

How to get from Malta Airport to Mosta?

From the airport you can catch the X3 which will take you to Birkirkara and from there catch route 41 which then takes you straight to Mosta.

Is it possible to walk around the top of the dome?

As far as we know it is not possible to visit the actual dome, but when you buy the ticket to visit the church and the museum you can go up around 60 steps to the roof level from where you can observe the dome, the inside of the dome and impressive views of the surrounding town and countryside.

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Avatar By Albert and Benjamin Magro