Sy. Agatha’s Catacombs

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St Agatha Catacombs are a part of an Historical Complex, a 3rd century underground chapel containing unique frescoes, early Christian Hypogea and a Museum.
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  2. St. Agatha's Catacombs, St Agatha Str, Rabat RBT 2020, Malta
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Since the catacombs of St. Agatha are located on the territory that belongs to one Maltese family, and not the state, many guidebooks assure that you can visit this dungeon only by appointment. Such phrases usually scare off travellers, many of whom do not even want to try to turn into a small alley on St. Agatha Street and follow it to a large courtyard surrounded by houses. In one of these houses live the owners of the catacombs, in the other-there is a cash register and a small museum of all sorts of things (toys, awards, old dishes, books, that is, everything that is no longer needed by residents), which is invited to visit before visiting the catacombs. And right in the centre of the courtyard, there is a descent into the catacombs. It will be much easier to see the private catacombs of Saint Agatha than to visit some of the state-owned Maltese museums. Even if you are alone, the hostess herself, a young woman, will give you a small tour in English. Brochures with information in different languages are available at the ticket office for an additional fee. 

Immediately after descending a small wide staircase, the travellers find themselves in the chapel of St. Agatha. According to Christian legends, in 249 AD, Saint Agatha was hiding here – a young girl who was brutally tortured and burned at the stake. She later became the patron saint of Malta and neighbouring Sicily. In this chapel, frescoes of amazing beauty, created in the XII-XV centuries, have been preserved. They, like other wall paintings in the catacombs, are forbidden to photograph.

Many guidebooks claim that the catacombs of St. Paul, the entrance to which is located a few hundred meters from the catacombs of St. Agatha, are considered the largest in Malta. This is not true. The catacombs of St. Agatha are twice as long. Unfortunately, tourists are shown only a small section of them. The halls with wall paintings of the XVI-XVII centuries are closed for their safety.