Right opposite Auberge d’Aragon, overlooking Manoel Island, is St Paul’s Anglican pro-Cathedral, with its iconic 200 foot spire that is such an instantly recognisable part of the Valletta skyline.
The building comes with royal lineage – it was commissioned by Queen Adelaide after she visited Malta in the 19th century and discovered that there was no dedicated space for Anglican worship. The church is built on the same site where Auberge d’Allemagne once stood and was finished in 1844. Once officially consecrated, Anglican services stopped being held at the Grandmaster’s Palace, which had become the unofficial place of worship under British rule.
Today, St Paul’s Anglican church is the subject of an ongoing ‘Save the Valletta Skyline’ appeal, in an attempt to fund a much-needed restoration of this protected building. The appeal has attracted celebrities like theatre producer Cameron Mackintosh, who famously donated E100,000 to the cause. Mackintosh, whose mother is Maltese, owns a Valletta residence nearby.
St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral – a seat of music
Besides holding regular Anglican services, St Paul’s Anglican church is often the site of choice for classical music concerts, with prestigious festivals like the Valletta International Baroque Festival, the International Organ Festival and others regularly choosing to showcase musicians and new compositions there.
Most notably, in 2015 the church hosted a concert with the star of the show being a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin crafted by the legendary instrument maker Antonio Stradivaris. The violin was played by Maestro Matteo Fedeli, who slowly walked around the pews playing different compositions, allowing the audience to experience a close look at the masterpiece.