Malta: Rotunda of Xewkija Cathedral

Cathedral Xewkija is the oldest town on Gozo and famous for the humongous Rotunda of Xewkija church dominating the skyline and the town. There was a church here from the 16th century built by the Knights of St John. But in 1950s, quite recently, the parishioners decided to built a bigger and grander church to showcase the Maltese craftsmanship of local yellow sandstone. A massive design was developed by a local Maltese architect involving a 45 ton dome! The dome is 27 meters in internal diameter and 75 meters high, supported by 8 columns. The monstrosity of a church is dedicated to St John the Baptist and is actually spiritual seat of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. It took about 20 years to built and it’s richly decorated inside and out – the interior is full of carved sculptures and modern paintings, the floor is made of polished Carrara marble, and the main altar is also carved in precious marble and full of gilded decor. You can take the elevator to the rooftop and then climb to the bells for amazing views.