The Malta Independent 24 June 2019, Monday

The Augustinian Cloister Open Weekend

Monday, 24 April 2017, 14:42 Last update: about 3 years ago

Following the resounding success of the first open-weekend organised eight years ago, the Augustinian Cloister Organising Committee has organised another open weekend where the general public will once again be invited to visit the historical and magnificent Augustinian Church and Priory in Rabat.

The event is being organised to coincide with the Mdina Medieval Festival next weekend on 29 and 30 April and is expected to attract large crowds of people to Rabat and Mdina.


The mission of the Augustinian Cloister is to promote spirituality through culture by opening its doors to the general public and be a promoter of the arts by creating encounters between culture and religion. It is also the mission to look after the invaluable architectural and historical heritage bequeathed to us by our forefathers.

  The Augustinian presence in Rabat dates back over 600 years. The first and second convents were built close to the walls of Mdina. The first convent was destroyed by the Turks during the siege of 1429 where the monks lost all their possessions. The second convent, also built close to the walls of Mdina was pulled down in 1551, this time by the Maltese who considered to be a strategic threat to the city in case of another Turkish siege. In 1555, the Augustinians were given the small chapel of St. Mark together with a few dilapidated buildings in Saqqajja from where the established their third convent, and where they established themselves uninterruptedly till the present day. The current church was designed by the famous Maltese architect Girolamo Cassar while the present baroque convent dates back to 1739 and was designed by the architect Andrea Belli. The antiquity of this Church and Convent complex evidences its historical glory over the passage of time and that's why the motto given to the convent is Vetustior Glorior.



  • Guided tours of the Church and Convent
  • Art exhibition by various artists
  • Book exhibition
  • On-site restoration works
  • Lectures/presentationson various aspects of the Convent,
  • Readings from the Confessions of St. Augustine
  • Various other activities including blood donations



  • Gig by The Busker- Friday 28 April at 7.30pm in front of St. Mark's Church. Entrance is free. A retiring collection will be made.
  • An organ concert by the world-famous Wayne Marshall- on Saturday 29 April at 7.30pm in St. Mark's Church. Entrance is free. A retiring collection will be made.
  • Lunch-time concert by the group Cordia String Quartet- On Sunday 30 April at 12.00 Noon in St. Mark's Church Entrance is free. A retiring collection will be made.
  • A classical guitar concert byBernard Catania- on Sunday 30 April at 7.30 pm in the Old Refectory of the Convent. Tickets at €5 each.

 The open weekend will be a singular opportunity for the Maltese and foreign public to visit the monastery, which is normally closed as it is a religious house and private residence. It will be a cultural experience not only in that the visitors will be able to appreciate only the architecture and art on display in the monastery but also one will be able to appreciate the community life of the religious community based on faith and Augustinian principles, which have given a great social and religious contribution to Malta for more than 600 years.

The Augustinian community recently started a process of restoration and conservation and the community wants to proceed with this work as it believes in the strong artistic and cultural message the project is trying to convey as an encounter space with culture.


For further information, visit the Augustinian Cloister's website at  or 21454111 or [email protected] or 79061945 or visit

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