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One World - Protecting the most significant buildings, monuments and features of Valletta (65)

Church of St Mary Magdalene

St Magdalene's church served the nearby Magdalene Asylum for poor and abandoned young women, known as the Magdalenes, whose virtue was in danger and who were put under the care of the Sisters of St Ursola.

The church is rather square and has a very pain exposed side only containing two windows set within the pilastered corners. Its façade is built in a rather Mannerist style with the central bay set within the square frame of the building. It consists of three bays on two levels. The central bay narrows at the upper level and is flanked by upturned curved attached buttresses. The façade has double paired Doric pilasters on the flanks of the portal. The portal has an elaborate architrave topped with a broken swan neck pediment, above which is a round light window. At second level is a central rectangular window. At roof level above the central bay is a triangular pediment with a stone cross set on a mount. The corners on both levels are pilastered and connected to the bays by the corniced fascia and the imposing Doric entablature along the front, which projects and recedes in relation to the underlying pilasters.

The church was desecrated and remained vacant for many years. It was used as a store for carnival floats until 2006, when it was vacated.

Mepa scheduled church of St. Mary Magdalene as a Grade 1 national monument as per Government Notice number 276/08 in the Government Gazette dated March 28.

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