Bir Miftuh Chapel, Gudja

There are some places that seem to have a different energy to them; a special feeling that you get as you approach them.  The chapel at Bir Miftuh is one such place.

For sure, the stillness that surrounds it is surreal despite being located near some major roads and an airport.  It is as if it is surrounded by a protective bubble, one that prevents the noise of modern life from touching it.

On the day that we visited, a very kind English gentleman (who, ironically, spoke perfect Maltese) explained that this was one of the earliest churches built in Malta and at the heart of one of the first eight parishes set in Malta.  All other churches from that same era have since been torn down and the same fate would have befallen this chapel were it not for the fact that the local people could not raise the money needed to build a new parish church.

It would seem that there truly is a protective spell surrounding this building!

Whatever it is, we should all be grateful for it because this is truly a gem of a building.  Not simply is it one that is beautiful to look at from the outside but also breath-taking on the inside.

On one side of the chapel a fresco was discovered (accidentally) some time back and has been lovingly restored ever since (where possible).  That same level of TLC has been devoted to the main painting bring its vivid colours to life once more.  The most delightful aspect, however, is the optical illusions that the arches supporting the roof play on you; irrespective of which end of the chapel you stand in, it always looks as if the other end is smaller.

It is an amazing experience, not only because of the illusion itself but because of the realisation that someone, five hundred years back, put so much thought into this building that it is still wowing people centuries later.  How many buildings that have risen these past forty years can elicit such feelings?

If you're looking for direction to the Santa Marija Chapel in Bir Miftuh, you can find them here.


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