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“Worth to visit”

St. Agatha's Crypt, Catacombs & Museum
Ranked #2 of 28 things to do in Rabat
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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 archaeology in Malta.
Rabat, Malta
Level Contributor
50 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Worth to visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

This Crypt is worth to visit it is very very old.The catacombs are rare and are underground. In Malta we have very nice places to visit make sure you go and visit them.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank benluna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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275 reviews from our community

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Salford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Emotional !”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2013

The tour was amazing, very touching and quite emotional. The small group on the tour were all lost for words. The young man who was our guide was so lovely and had so much information to share. A nice little museum upstairs where we walked around and sat in the cool waiting for the start of the tour. A nice courtyard with seating and toilets available.
Easy to walk to from Mdina. Really worth a visit.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Mary00000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tamworth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“What a Gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2013

Just a small portion of these catacombs are open to the public by way of a 15/20 min guided tour. The history, murals and feel of the place are awe inspiring. Make sure you visit the small museum which houses some surprising artifacts given it's not so grand size.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Nick_5912
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Very informative guided tour”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2013

St Agathas Crypt and Catacombs cost 5 Euros to enter. For this you get entry to the museum, which is only small, and has mainly specimens of rocks and bones! You also get a 20 minute tour of St Agathas Crypt and Catacombs. They are fascinating. The catacombs still have the skeletons in them. These catacombs also have some frescoes which is why they only allow you to be down there for 20 minutes as the carbon dioxide we breathe out damages the frescoes.
The humidity inside the catacombs is around 80% so whilst it is cool it makes you very damp.
It has uneven floors and is not at all suitable for disabled or infirm people.
Having already visited the St Pauls catacombs I found these catacombs much smaller but more interesting because of the guided tour.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank cls3964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
205 reviews
118 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
“Worth a look”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2013

I enjoyed my visit and am glad I went; however, there are certain things about this site that might put people off.

The guided tour of the catacombs is very short (15 - 20) and given in English only, though there are printed materials available in other languages. As compared to St. Paul's Catacombs just up the street, this is a very small area. One reviewer suggested visiting this one first and seeing St. Paul's after so as not to be let down. Having seen St. Paul's first, I found that what I learned there helped me better appreciate what I saw at St. Agatha's. I had gotten the cave exploring out of my system and thus was better able to focus on the unique history of St. Agatha's.

The catacombs are well lit so visibility was good, but the floors were uneven in places and the ceilings sometimes low. If you go, make sure you've got the right footwear. Also, these catacombs can be cool so a pullover or light jacket might be in order, though this one was not as cold as others I've seen.

Our guide was very knowledgeable and polite. He offered ample opportunity to ask questions and make thorough answers to them. I wish we had had a bit more time in the first chamber either at the start or end of the tour, but that is a relatively small gripe.

The museum looks like the result of dozens of people digging out their closets and donating their most interesting possessions to the church . . . and that's basically what it is. Pottery (whole and in shards), skeletons, vestments, paintings, coins, a mummified crocodile (really -- and two mummified hawks), altar pieces, and more -- it's overwhelming. Many items are tagged in English but some have nothing. It's frustrating because you want to know more about certain pieces and you often feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff, yet it is interesting. Obviously they don't have a great deal of money, but it would be great to see the displays better presented. Cutting back on the volume of things would help given that they have such a small space in which to present these items.

Though it was only a short visit, I feel like I got my money's worth and I'm glad I went, but I recognize things that would make this a non-starter for some. Unfortunately, this site is not accessible for those with mobility issues. The museum is up a couple of flights of stairs and access to the catacombs involves another flight of stairs . . . and that's before you get to the uneven floors and occasional stone steps. Children might like some of the items in the museum, but you won't have enough information to answer their inevitable questions.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
9 Thank LM606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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