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Report 2011: Gozo, Calypso’s Isle

By Eleanor from UK, Spring 2012

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Page 23 of 26: Qala and St Joseph's Church

photo by MAW

Detail of nave arch

Qala is the most easterly village on Gozo. It is a thriving settlement with three small supermarkets and a couple of butchers shops. It is built on top of a hill and there are two windmills marked on the map. One is derelict. The other has been restored as a private house. There is a lot of new building work; apartments for sale or for rent.

St Joseph’s Church dominates the village. It was one of the later churches to be built at the end of the 19thC. It is a typical Gozitan church with two bell towers and red dome. Inside are very stylish cream painted pillars and walls. The pillars have gold Corinthian style tops. The round arches have gold painted carvings. Above is a frieze with gold eight pointed stars with a flower motif inside. The ceiling is painted and has crystal chandeliers.

The dome has stained glass windows giving light to the church and there are smaller windows above the nave arches. There are paintings above the dome windows which has a small cupola above.

There is a small mass altar with a large high altar behind with a suspended red damask canopy with the all seeing Eye of God beneath. Behind it are wooden choir stalls and an altar with a painting above. The pillars in the choir were covered with red damask when we visited. To the right of the choir is a small chapel containing a massive tomb with its base covered in purple material and candles at each corner. A statue lies on the top and above is a crown shaped canopy with red damask.

There are large altars in the side aisles which have small domes and more decorative gold ribs. At the back of the church is a large statue of Mary and Jesus with cherubim and a gilded statue of St Joseph with the Christ Child. Over the main door is a gilded balcony with the organ.

There is a corridor from the side door on the south side of the church which has a model of the church and display cases with old books.

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