The Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, St Paul's Bay, Malta, by Emmanuele Luigi Galizia

The Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, designed by Emmanuele Galizia. The foundation stone was laid in 1902. Here, Galizia was designing for a titled and wealthy patron, Anna Bugeja, wife of Marquis Vincenzo Bugeja, and a local guidebook comments on the "beauty and spirituality" of the church's interior (Randon 37).

By this time the neo-Gothic style had lost its attraction; and neo-classicism had never seemed suitable for the Catholic churches of Malta, because it was associated with paganism (see Said-Zammit 159). So here, as in various other buildings of the time, Galizia had adopted traditional — that is, Baroque, though restrained rather than florid — architectural terms.

This thriving church in a popular tourist district was extended later on, and rededicated in 1979. The statues in the niches, not yet installed in the earlier photograph, are of St Paul and Pope Leo XII, while the rather fine one outside is of St Francis.

Photographs above left, and on the right here, by Frank Vincentz and available on the Creative Commons license from Wikipedia; they have both been cropped from the high resolution image downloadable there. Photograph above right kindly provided by Robert Galea-Naudi, great-great-grandson of the architect. This was taken by his father in the early 1950s. Text by Jacqueline Banerjee. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.]


Randon, Stanley Farrugia. Wignacourt Walks, St Paul's Bay (available online here).

Said-Zammit, George A. The Architectural Heritage of the Maltese Islands. 2nd ed. Rabat, Malta: Minor Seminary Publication, 2008.

Created 9 May 2017