Malta Public Transport

St Matthew's Church

Secrets of St Matthew’s

Right outside the built perimeter of Qrendi, in the South of Malta, stands a quaint church dedicated to St Matthew. Small and unadorned, by the standards of the many baroque churches around the islands, St Matthew is no less imposing.

Built in the late 17th century, the church suffered extensive damage during WWII but was later rebuilt with a completely new and elegant façade featuring symmetrical belfies on either side. The original design had a single central belfry.

The postcard-perfect church houses an oil painting by the famed ‘Calabrese Knight’ Mattia Preti: a reflection on the martyrdom of St Matthew.

The church is built right next to an older medieval chapel known as ‘The Smaller St Matthew’, first documented in the mid-14th century. Legend has it that this chapel was erected on the outskirts of a settlement that was eventually swallowed into the depths of the earth because of the wickedness of its community members. Only the chapel and a pious lady inside it were spared, while a gaping sinkhole – known as Il-Maqluba – reminds visitors to this day of the wrath of the gods.

Getting there

Take Route 74 from Valletta to Żurrieq and stop at bus stop Maqluba. The route operates hourly from 6:35 to 19:35, and there is an additional early trip leaving Valletta at 06:20.

Check the latest timetable details here: publictransport.com.mt/en/routes-timetables