Legends in Films

Missgien's Malta Experience

Guy Forsyth Band

Under Rabat there is a second 'city', a huge maze of catacombs in which the early christians held their services and burried their dead. These christians were not free to express their religion and had to go -litterly- underground. It is said that Paul too lived in one of these catacombs. We chose to visit only one part of them and we did pick the most plain one. The catacombs of St. Paul and St. Agatha seem to have more colour and more expressions of religion. The one we visited was more like a necropolis. It has a fabulous number of thombs hewn out of the rock. Below and to the right are some pictures of these catacombs.
In 1881 interesting remains of a roman house (mistakenly called a "villa") were found at the edge of Rabat. It probably was built in 1 BCE. The building on the picture was built over de remaining mosaics and it houses the Roman Villa Museum of Roman Antiquities.
One of the foundings was this head of Claudius Caesar.
Another head was found: according to the museum this is Claudius' mother Antonia.
It shows a version which often occurs in Hellenistic paintings and mosaic compositions.The master piece of this museum is this mosaic pavement. The motif of the cental emblema is executed in opus vermiculatum, the rest of the floor is in opus tessellatum. I was touched by the greatness of the outer pattern: now we know where Escher had his inspiration from!
A closer look at the emblema.
Just a stone throw away from the catacombs is a huge church and this statue, both dedicated to Paul. I have to say: Rabat should be called 'Paul's town'... According to legend Paul shipwrecked north of Malta en he and his fellow travellers were rescued by Maltese. Paul stayed on Malta for 3 months and managed to convert most of the population to christianity. To me it's like a kind of blaspheme to the Magna Mater who must have been worshipped here for centuries before Jesus was even supposed to be born.
All these treasures are great to see, but now it was time for lunch!

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