Collegiate Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception
The Collegiate Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception in Cospicua captivates its visitors with its grandeur, and features elegant bell towers and majestic staircases. This large and impressive building is full of statues and paintings, most of which are dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Prior to the existing church building constructed in 1586, there was a small chapel situated on the hill known as “the Hill of the Gardens”, which at the time served as the town’s parish. However, the growing population meant that this chapel needed to be enlarged, thus in the mid-17th century, works were carried out. After several enlargements, it was finally decided to erect a new building to accommodate the town’s population, with construction starting in the late 17th century. Due to delays associated with the plague of 1676 and numerous drought seasons, construction lasted about 50 years. The church was enlarged again in the 19th century, and gained its current collegiate status.
The designs of the church are attributed to Vincenzo Casanova, a renowned Maltese sculptor, while its bell towers are attributed to Lorenzo Gafà. Even though the church has an imposing wide façade divided into five bays with a Doric entablature running continuously along its entire length, it has a relatively simple design, devoid of any elaborate architectural features.
The feast in honour of the Immaculate Conception is held there on the 8th of December, and it attracts many locals and tourists alike, to admire the church’s magnificent interior and impressive size, its various sculptures and paintings, and the beautiful gem-encrusted statue of the Virgin Mary.