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Church of St Catherine of Italy, Valletta

Church of St Catherine of Italy, Valletta

Valletta, Malta

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Description The Church of St Catherine of Alexandria is a Roman Catholic church situated in Valletta, Malta. The church serves as the parish church of the Italian community of Malta. Thus it is more commonly known as the church of St Catherine of Italy or Santa Katerina tal-Italja in Maltese.OriginsThe church was built in 1576 by the Italian knights of St John to serve as their church. It was built adjacent to the Auberge d'Italie. Girolamo Cassar was commissioned to draw up the plans. In the 17th century the church was enlarged. An octagonal church was added to the existing chapel. The original chapel was changed into the sanctuary of the church. The church underwent a major restoration from 2001 till 2011. Today the church still serves as the parish church of the Italian community of Malta.The church building is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.Works of ArtThe titular painting was painted by Mattia Preti. It depicts the martyrdom of St Catherine of Alexandria. Preti donated the painting to the church after his arrival in Malta. The cupola of the church was also painted by Preti. He drew it with painted stucco decorations and ornamental patterns in grey and gold.