|St.Catherine Parish Church
The town of Zurrieq is one of the ten parishes which were already in existence in 1436. There used to be two churches on the site, one dedicated to St.Catherine and the other to St.Peter. The present church was built between 1634 and 1659 on plans prepared by Matteolo Saliba, and was dedicated by Bishop Alpheran de Bussan. Dedication date 30th Dec 1731. In 1758 it was enlarged and the belfries added in 1861.
An Annunciation church in the neighbourhood of Hlantun or Hal Antun village, now part of Zurrieq, is mentioned in the records of the 1618 Pastoral Visit when the Bishop forbade liturgical worship in it.
Annunciation Hal Millieri
This is a 1450's medieval church and was the parish church of Hal Millieri, now part of Zurrieq. It is situated within a walled cemetery. When the village ceased to exist the church was left derelict. As far back as 1575, on its feast day, a procession from Zurrieq parish ended here and Mass was duly celebrated. Victims of the 1592-93 plague were buried in its cemetery. Bishop Labini decreed its deconsecration in 1787. After being used as a stable up to 1968, it was restored in the last few decades and is now held in trust by 'Din l-Art Helwa'. It has a cute entrance archway to the property which was also restored. Inside the church are some old frescos. Two other churches were close by, St.John Evangelist which still stands and the Visitation of which only traces of the foundation still exist. (see further down)
|Annunciation / St Sophia tal-Baqqari
A church was built around the 13th century, of which a few decades ago only a few broken columns were left. Another church abutting on it and dedicated to St.Catherine was very small having three series of slabs for its roof and was closed to public worship in 1658.
This rural church abutted on another one dedicated to St.Sebastian and by 1575 was already sufficiently endowed for its upkeep. St.Sebastian's church was adapted as its sacristy in 1658. In 1676 a new church was built on the site of both. In 1683 Pietro Azzopardi bequeathed some property for Masses to be celebrated during the fifteen days preceding the feast of the Assumption.
Giacomo Camilleri in 1575 used to look after the daily needs of this church which stood quite close to the Parish Church. Although well frequented, its structure was very old and so Bishop Cagliares closed it in 1618. However, in 1634 it was once more opened for public worship till 1658 when it was deconsecrated once and for all.
There was another Assumption church which was formally closed down somewhere in Hlantun according to documents of 1618.
Before 1490 at Bubaqra there were two churches, one dedicated to St.John and the other to St.Roque. These two churches were demolished and instead, a church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary was built around 1676. In 1961 this church was enlarged.
Adjoining the Parish Church, this Oratory has a rather unusual facade having a baroque main door and neo-Romanesque frontispiece.
|Immaculate Conception Nigret - tax-Xaghra
In 1575 according to Mons.Dusina's report, this church seems to have been dedicated to the Assumption. From 1594 onwards its titular was the Annunciation. In 1654 it was in a very miserable state and was closed to all forms of worship four years afterwards. AImost ninety years later in 1747, it was rebuilt from its very foundations but was rededicated to the Immaculate Conception. The church is part of a palace built in 1658 by the Knight of St.John James Togores de Valemuela. In his book of 1866, A Ferres lists it as dedicated to Our Lady of Consolation. A community of Benedictine monks resided in the palace for some time before WWI. Nowadays the palace is occupied by the Congregation of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart and serves as their convent. This Marian shrine was held in high esteem and venerated particularly by expectant mothers.
|Nativity of Our Lady Bubaqra
This old church, already recorded in 1575 by Mons.Dusina, was then situated near a church dedicated to St.Leonard. The Vicar General Ant.Tholossenti in 1658 closed it to public worship.
|Pope John XXIII Peace Laboratory
The Hal Far Royal Air Force Station church of St.Nicholas was originally an aircraft hangar, but was converted for Divine worship. At the end of May 1967 Hal Far ceased to be an active Royal Air Force station, and was placed on a care and maintenance basis. Fr. Dionysius Mintoff, a Franciscan monk and a relation of the former Prime Minister Dom Mintoff, conceived the idea of a Peace Laboratory. The complex including a proper church, was officially opened on Thursday 25th March 1971 in memory Pope John XXIII. Joseph Roncalli, one of the late Pope's brothers took part in the opening ceremony.
The church was built in the 16th century and was closed by Bishop Balaguer in 1658 together with a large number of rural churches. It was rebuilt later and enlarged in 1854. In 1952 it was given a new floor. Mass is celebrated in the church on the feast day of St.Agatha on the 5th February.
The chapel dedicated to St.Andrew was built in the late 16th century and was closed in 1658 but reopened some years later. Nowadays it is not being used liturgically. The site which also consists of the Xarolla Mill and a cluster of Late Roman catacombs which have been tentatively dated to the 3rd to 4th century AD, has been restored and is now a tourist attraction.
The first church dedicated to St.Bartholomew at Zurrieq was built in 1482 but was closed in 1658. A new church was built between 1775 and 1784. Nowadays this church is used by the various parish associations for their meetings. A Mass is celebrated here every year on September 24.
A church dedicated to the Eastern Saint Cyrus (San Cir) had an apse mural of a Blessing Christ in the Siculo-Byzantine Pantocrator tradition. Nothing is left of this church.
Reported in 1575 by Mons.Dusina to exist in the then limits of Zurrieq. Nothing is left of this church nowadays.
Vincenzo Micci was the founder of an Annunciation church which stood close to the parish church. In 1575, according to Mons.Dusina's report, Vincenzo was still living and looking after its needs. On the 23rd February 1723, Bishop Gori Mancini authorized Fr Giorgio Velasco, the parish priest of Zurrieq, to demolish it and build another one dedicated to St.James. The site of another church originally dedicated to St.John Baptist, already demolished, was also included in this project. St.James church was blessed on the 24th June 1731. It is octagonal and has elegant baroque stone decoration inside. Nowadays there is daily Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in this church.
|St.John Evangelist Hal Millieri
This old church was already built in 1481 and was rebuilt in later centuries. It is situated in front of the Annunciation church at Hal-Millieri (see further up) but no longer in use. It was lately restored.
Does not exist any more, but was reported within then Zurrieq limits in 1762 by Mons. B.Rull.
This church was built in 1468 but because of its deteriorated state, Mons.Dusina ordered its restoration during his pastoral visit of 1575. Nowadays it is not in use.
|Visitation Hal Millieri
In 1575 an old chapel stood on the left hand side of the Annunciation church of this hamlet (see further up). The Zammit family used to look after its needs. Its wooden altar piece represented Our Lady together with St.Joseph and St.Joachim. In 1666 orders were given to replace its altar with a new one, but the following year it was closed to public worship. Only the foundations exist nowadays.
|Foundations of the Visitation Church|