Walking in the Footsteps of St. Paul
Ever since St. Paul was shipwrecked on Malta in 60AD, Christianity has been the dominant religion. The island is brimming with religious history and infrastructure such as churches, chapels, cloisters and cathedrals. However Religion has dominated the Maltese history ever since the first people landed on the islands. As early as 3000 BC, local farmers worshipped fertility figure, such as the Venus of Willendorf. They built megalithic temples, where they could pray and sacrifice animals in her honour, such temples, which are among the oldest structures in the world, can be found in Tarxien Temples, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra in Malta, and in Ġgantija in Gozo. You can also see a large statue of the mother goddess of fertility at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta. A visit to the Hypogeum in Hal Saflieni, provides an interesting example of architecture showing how people were buried around 3600BC.
It is said that there are around 365 churches and chapels around Malta and Gozo, one for every day of the year. Apart from being religious centres, these churches are architectural and artistic jewels. Every village in Malta has its own patron saint and over 80 parishes in Malta celebrate the feast of their Saint each year. These feasts are colourful, very traditional in their external manifestations and unique for a non- Maltese visitor to experience. Tailor-made Religious Tours in Malta provide an unique way to experience the religious history and devotion evident throughout the islands.