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Report 2011: Gozo, Calypso’s Isle

By Eleanor from UK, Spring 2012

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Page 21 of 26: Nadur - Church of St Peter and St Paul

photo by MAW

Dome

The Church of St Peter and St Paul is a splendid 18thC Baroque building, which was refurbished at the start of the 20thC when the dome, side aisles and the facade were added. The new facade gives the church a very different appearance to the typical Gozitan churches as the twin bell towers now seem inconspicuous.

A flight of steps, with statues of St Peter and St Paul, leads up to a platform in front of the west end porch with its classical front with decorative carving. The large entrance porch has a beautiful tiled floor and decorative ceiling. This door is open for services, otherwise entrance is through the south door.

Late in the afternoon, the church seemed quite dark inside but sunlight coming and going through the windows lit up the church.

The church is a glorious example of Baroque decoration. There are two rows of massive decorative marble pillars with dark marble base. Above is highly patterned red marble with fluted yellow and white marble. These support round arches with small stained glass windows above.

The tops of the arches are carved and painted in blues and golds. Undersides are painted pink with two decorative ribs of deep red and gold lined with white. The nave ceiling is barrel vaulted with a huge main dome. This has stained glass windows set in a decorative gold frieze with paintings above and a tiny cupola at the top. There is a rounded apse in the choir. The side aisles have a series small domes. Everywhere is painted with Biblical scenes surrounded by gilt borders. The marble floor is a geometric design made up of different colors of marble.

There is a free standing mass altar with high altar behind which has a carved marble front and huge silver candlesticks. On the back wall is a picture surrounded by more classical pillars. Above the west door is a small round balcony with the organ. The marble pulpit is supported by carved statues of Adam and Eve with the apple. There are carvings of the apostles set in gold niches round the pulpit and a mosaic picture of Christ ascending into Heaven on back wall.

This is a beautiful building, a place to sit and enjoy.

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