Malta Public Transport

Bir Miftuħ Chapel

The humble chapel standing tall

Stormed by invaders during the Great Siege, partly demolished by parishioners, and hit in a World War raid. The Bir Miftuħ Chapel has witnessed more than a fair share of attacks, but today it stands cherished as a tangible symbol of Malta’s rich story.

Lying just outside the airport, in Gudja, the chapel is easily the first glimpse of the country’s character that visitors encounter.

The medieval structure is thought to have been built a whole century before the Order of St John arrived in Malta and is a testimony to the blossoming masonry skills on the islands at the time. It is said that, during the siege, the people in the area hid the treasures of the chapel in the crypt, just before it was seized by the Ottomans.

In the mid-seventeenth century, though, as the surrounding community developed, part of the chapel was demolished, and stones were taken away to build a new and bigger parish church.

But, even if smaller, St Mary Chapel is not diminished and remains the best-preserved chapel of the fifteenth century. A meticulous restoration project started in the 1970s uncovered an exquisite fresco, probably dating to the start of the sixteenth century.

A Trust of Din l-Art Ħelwa, this gem is open for visiting every first Sunday of the month between 9:30 and 12:00.

Getting there

Stop at bus stop Gibja and turn to the left into Triq Santa Marija leading right to the chapel.

Route 88 from Valletta to Gudja runs every 30 minutes between 05:45 and 22:15

Route 135 from Marsaskala and Mater Dei runs every hour 06:05 and 20:05

Route 226 from Mater Dei to Gudja runs every hour from 05:30 to 20:30