Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady

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Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady, or Church of the Annunciation, also known as the Carmelite Church, is a baroque religious temple, which was built between 1660 and 1675 on the site of a pre-existing chapel.
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  1. #MT58
  2. Triq Iż-Żurrieq, Iż-Żurrieq, Malta
  3. Working hours*:
    The chapel is open for visits every first Sunday of the month, from 9.00 am to 12 noon.
  4. * - opening and closing times as well as entrance prices, are subject to alterations without notice. Visitors are advised to check before visiting.
  5. 35.8392814, 14.4709441 Copy to clipboard Copy

Preti is the author of the painting in the main altar depicting the scene of the Annunciation of the Lord. The elaborately carved and gilded frame is the work of Pietro Paolo Troisi. A valuable monument is also the processional figure of the Mother of God from Mount Carmel chisel Andrea Imbrolla.
Many valuable items from the church's furnishings were plundered by the French who plundered the church in 1798. The rebellious inhabitants of Mdina, who barricaded the door and struck the bells, did not allow the final devastation of the church, which signaled the outbreak of the uprising against the French occupants.

The now un­in­hib­ited vil­lage of Ħal-Mil­lieri was first doc­u­mented in 1419 though it orig­i­nates from Roman or even pre-his­toric times. The pre­sent church was built around 1450 on the site of an ear­lier 13th cen­tury chapel. The An­nun­ci­a­tion Chapel at Ħal-Mil­lieri was most prob­a­bly used as a Mosque when orig­i­nally built. Its ar­chi­tec­ture sup­ports this view; the apse was prob­a­bly a qibla and the build­ing points more or less to Mecca.
Stud­ies on the skele­tal re­mains, of those buried in the me­dieval pe­riod, re­vealed ev­i­dence of the prob­a­ble first cases of syphilis in Malta.
The chapel was con­se­crated in 1480. Dur­ing Mon­signor Pietro Dusina's apos­tolic visit to Ħal-Mil­lieri, in 1575, he found that there were a total of four churches in the area. Only two of these re­main stand­ing; The An­nun­ci­a­tion and St John the Evan­ge­list. Dur­ing his visit, Dusina found that the church was in a state of good re­pair, had three al­tars and paved. How­ever, he found that the church was not equipped with sa­cred vest­ments, in­come or even a rec­tor. At his order the side al­tars were re­moved. In 1781, Arch­bishop Vin­cenzo Labini vis­ited the chapel but found it to be in a ne­glected state. In the early 19th cen­tury, Ġuze Magro from Żur­rieq re­stored the church. It was blessed by Rev­erend Gej­tan Buttigieg in 1809. By time the chapel fell in dis­re­pair until 1968 when the 'Teenagers Din l-Art Helwa' began clean­ing the chapel. It has been recorded that upon clean­ing, at least thir­teen trucks worth of rub­ble and de­bris were removed.
In 1970, a Trust was set up on the ini­tia­tive of the Żur­rieq Coun­cil and the man­age­ment of the chapel was given to Din l-Art Helwa who re­stored the chapel.

Architecture and Interior
A path­way leads to the chapel and one has to de­scend three steps to enter. The chapel is built in the late me­dieval style. The square doors ap­pear to have been orig­i­nally ogi­val which is a com­mon char­ac­ter­is­tic of Gothic ar­chi­tec­ture. The church has a height of 7.3 me­tres and a width of 5.2 me­tres.
The in­te­rior of the church con­sists of four pointed arches typ­i­cal of me­dieval churches. The arch clos­est to the altar has the re­mains of a Rood screen. The church has one altar and in­cludes a paint­ing of the An­nun­ci­a­tion above it. It was painted by Renè Sacco in 2003. The church also has a num­ber of tombs. Also be­side the church a num­ber of graves were discovered.

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