The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, by Emmanuele Galizia (1830-1906). 1888-1893. Maltese limestone. Overlooking Mgaar Harbour, Gozo, Malta. A church was founded here, on the second largest island of the Maltese archipelago, after the rock formation just below it was seen to resemble that at Lourdes. A statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was sculpted by the Maltese sculptor Antonio Busutill and placed in the grotto in 1879, and the foundation stone of the church above it was laid in 1888. It was finally blessed and opened in 1893 (Scerri).
For this Galizia was honoured by the Pope, becoming a Knight of St Gregory the Great ("Malta Family History"). As was the case with his Carmelite Church in Balluta Bay, its neo-Gothicism contrasts sharply with usual Maltese baroque style of church architecture. It could hardly have a more dramatic setting.
Left: Close-up of the impressive statue in the rocks, by Antonio Busutill. Right: The church in its picturesque setting, overlooking Mgarr Harbour.
Photographs, caption, and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee, except for the photograph of the front of the church, which was taken by Robert Galea-Naudi, great-great-grandson of the architect. [You may use the other photographs without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. Click on all the pictures to enlarge them.]
"Malta Family History." Viewed 15 March 2010.
Scerri, John N. "Mgarr" in "Churches and Chapels of Malta." This has a picture of the church interior. Viewed 15 March 2010.
Last modified 8 May 2017