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St Catherine, Zejtun

Zejtun, Malta

The Church of St Catherine, Żejtun, is a Roman Catholic church, the seat of the archpriest of Żejtun and the mother church of various parishes established from the originally larger territory of the Żejtun parish. The parish church, its oratory and an adjacent pastoral centre form a complex of Grade 1 and 2 listed buildings in the centre of town.The Church and its complex sit in front of the Il-Gwiedi quarter, commanding views from both the Tal-Barrani and Triq Bormla town approaches.

Its dedication to Catherine of Alexandria dates back to an original church standing 500 metres (1,600 ft) from this site, extant from at least the fifteenth century, and was the fifth of the eight mother churches on Malta.The church, dating from the late 17th century, was designed in the Maltese baroque style by Lorenzo Gafà. Its construction was part of an urbanisation programme in Żejtun spearheaded by Gregorio Bonici. The church is one of the most famous and most recognisable sights of Żejtun. Its dome, framed by the spires of its clock towers, have dominated the town’s skyline for 300 years.

Colloquially known as the Cathedral of the East, the church bears an imposing facade and a large internal dome. The church houses various important pieces of art, such as The Martyrdom of St Catherine, an 18th century copy of the artwork by Mattia Preti in the Church of St Catherine in Valletta.

St Catherine’s is a working church with prayer and daily mass services.