St.Paul’s Catacombs are a typical complex of interconnected, underground Roman cemeteries that were in use up to the 4th century AD. They are located on the outskirts of the old Roman capital Melite (today’s Mdina), since Roman law prohibited burials within the city. St Paul’s Catacombs represent the earliest and largest archaeological evidence of Christianity in Malta. The site was cleared and investigated in 1894 by Dr A.A. Caruana, the pioneer of Christian era archaeology in Malta.
The Catacombs of St Paul are situated in the zone of Ħal Bajjada in Rabat, in an area which is at times also called as Tad-Dlam. The site consists of two large areas called St Paul’s and Saints Paul/Agatha, and are littered with more than 30 hypogea, of which the main complex, situated within the St Paul’s cluster, comprises a complex system of interconnected passages and tombs covering an area of well over 2000 sqr metres.
The cluster gets its name from the myth that it was once connected with St Paul’s Grotto, which was once also partly re-cut into a Palaeochristian hypogeum. The origin of the main catacomb most probably started from a cluster of small tombs of the Punico-Roman type and hypogea which were eventually enlarged and joined haphazardly to create the complex system of passages and tombs used in the late Roman period. Although much smaller when compared to the catacombs of Rome and other large Roman centres, the catacombs of St Paul are a good example of the Maltese underground architecture, which is the result of an indigenous development which was barely influenced by overseas traditions
Monday to Sunday: 09.00-17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday
Adults (18 – 59 years): €4.00
Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €3.50
Children (6 -11 years): €2.50
Infants (1 -5 years): Free