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St Gregory church

  • Address
    Triq San Girgor, Iż-Żejtun, Malta
  • Web
  • Visiting Hours
    Open during the religious service
  • What to see
    Tunnel, Gothic and Romanesque church

St. Gregory’s Church in Zejtun, Malta, has a rich spiritual history dating back to the Middle Ages. Built on the site of a medieval church dedicated to St. Catherine, the present church dates back to the 16th century and features a unique fusion of Gothic and Romanesque styles. Formerly known as the parish of St. Catherine, the church stands at the highest point, providing panoramic views of the bays of St. Thomas, Marsascala and Marsaxlokk. Its connection to the protection of sailors and lighthouse workers is evidenced by the maritime graffiti on its exterior walls, while its role as a watchtower during Ottoman raids in 1614 highlights its strategic importance.

This church, despite its dedication to St. Catherine, is popularly known as St. Gregory’s because of the annual pilgrimage that takes place here. The presence of the statue of St. Gregory the Great near the church and the existence of three nearby cemeteries, including the oldest of San Rocco, highlight the spiritual and cultural importance of this site. The connection with pilgrimages is reflected in the structure of the church, which also served as an observation tower, and in the presence of a secret passageway that, according to local belief, was used during the siege of 1614. The discovery of human bones in this passageway reinforces the story of its use in turbulent times, making the Church of San Gregorio a tangible testimony to faith and spiritual endurance over the centuries.

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