Church of St Nicholas, Valletta

The Church of Saint Nicholas (Maltese: Il-Knisja ta' San Nikola, Greek: Εκκλησία του Αγίου Νικολάου, Serbian: Црква Светог Николе), also known as the Church of All Souls (Maltese: Il-Knisja tal-Erwieħ), is a Greek Catholic church in Valletta, Malta, dedicated to Saint Nicholas. Originally built as a Greek Orthodox church in 1569, it was conceded to the Confraternity of the Souls in Purgatory in 1639, who rebuilt the church in the Baroque style in 1652. The church was passed back to the Greek Catholic congregation in 2014 however the church is used from Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Church of Saint Nicholas (All Souls)
Il-Knisja ta' San Nikola (tal-Erwieħ)
Façade of the Church of St. Nicholas
35°53′58.3″N 14°31′0.5″E / 35.899528°N 14.516806°E / 35.899528; 14.516806
LocationValletta, Malta
DenominationGreek Catholic
Roman Catholic
DedicationSaint Nicholas
Functional statusActive
Architect(s)Francesco Buonamici
Years built1652
Number of domes1
Number of spires1
Bells5 (1886)
DioceseArchdiocese of Malta (Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic)
Bishop(s)Charles Scicluna (Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic)



The Church of St. Nicholas was originally built in 1569 as a Byzantine Rite parish church for the Greek Orthodox Church. The Greek Catholic Church came into existence following the Union of Brest in 1595–96. In 1639, the parish priest Papas Giovanni Metaxi decided to separate from the Orthodox church and join the Greek Catholic Church, and he conceded the church to the Confraternity of the Souls in Purgatory.[1]

The church building was completely reconstructed to designs of the Baroque architect Francesco Buonamici in 1652.[2] Relations between the parish and the Confraternity are regulated by a concordat signed on 17 September 1766.[1]

18th-century relief about an indulgence of 40 days outside the church

The church suffered considerable due to aerial bombardment during World War II. It was repaired by 1951, and the repair works included a complete reconstruction of the façade.[1][2]

The church formally passed back into the hands of the local Greek Catholic congregation in 2014. Today, it is used by the Roman Catholic church although authority falls under Greek Catholic hierarch Archimandrite Fr. George Mifsud Montanaro. Greek Catholic (Byzantine Rite) liturgy is celebrated daily at the nearby Church of Our Lady of Damascus. The church is also used for Sunday Divine Services by the Serbian Orthodox Church.[3][citation needed]

Today, the church is a Grade 1 national monument,[2] and it is also listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.[4]


Interior of the church

The Church of St. Nicholas is built in the Baroque style. Its façade is divided into three bays at ground level, with a single central bay on the upper part. The church has a Greek cross plan,[4] with a central dome over the crossing supported by four free-standing columns. It has a choir in the apse, which is flanked by a small sacristy. The church has a single bell tower which is located to the rear of the building.[2]

See also



  1. ^ a b c "Valletta (St. Paul)". The Church in Malta. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Protecting the most significant buildings, monuments and features of Valletta (14)". Times of Malta. 21 June 2008. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016.
  3. ^ Mifsud Montanaro, George (2010). "Orthodox churches in Malta" (PDF). The Church in Malta. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 March 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Church of St. Nicholas" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 27 August 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2016.

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