Secrets of St John's Co-Cathedral

Hear tales of heroic knights, decipher symbols on their tombs and see the world's largest Caravaggio painting

A Cathedral Like No Other

**Please note all tour fees *INCLUDE* the cost of entry into St John’s Co-Cathedral – see below for full price list**
This tour will reveal the stories buried within the walls and floors of St John’s Co-Cathedral, voted one of the Top 25 Attractions in Europe on Tripadvisor. 
Built by the Order of St John as their main seat of worship, this cathedral is one of the best examples of high baroque architecture to be found anywhere in the world.  
It has what’s described as “the most beautiful floor in the world”, consisting of more than 400 ornate marble tomb slabs, each telling a story of the noble knight who lays beneath it. 
During the tour you’ll meet the Order’s Grand Masters and learn the hidden meanings of the symbols on their tombs; be shown the messages left for you by long-dead knights on their funerary slabs; and hear the story of the only woman said to be buried in the cathedral. 
You’ll also see two paintings by the brilliant artist Caravaggio and learn why he was kicked out of the Order of St John. You’l hear the incredible story of how one of these paintings was recovered by a priest-turned-detective after it was stolen from the cathedral in 1984. 
All this, and more, on the Secrets of St John’s Co-Cathedral tour.
€30 adult (12+) 
Children 11 and under go free
€27 for senior citizens (60+ ID required)
€15 for senior Heritage Passport holders (pass/booklet required)
€22 students (Further/Higher education, proof required)
€10 student Heritage Passport holders (pass required)

What to Expect

Horrible Histories

Dark Malta Tours tell true stories of murder, crime, witchcraft, tragedy and naughty behaviour from across Malta's history.

Historic Setting

This tour takes place inside the stunning St John's Co-Cathedral and includes viewings of two paintings by Caravaggio.

Professional Guide

The tour will be conducted by Mario, a licensed tourist guide who has spent years studying the darker side of Malta's history.

Flexible Access

The tour is suitable for people of average fitness and ability. Please get in touch if you have mobility requirements.


Payment can be made by credit card in advance to secure your booking, or in cash or Revolut at the start of the tour.


Ask for more information or make a booking on +356 99892628 or click the icon above to send an email.

Tour Meeting Point

The side entrance to St John's Co-Cathedral
The tour begins outside the entrance to the co-cathedral ticket office

See Price List ↙️

Secrets of St John’s Co-Cathedral – Tour Dates
June 2024
Book now and discover Malta's dark history!

Experience Other Dark Malta Tours

Hear more horrible history stories from around the Maltese islands

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Mysteries and Histories of Mdina

Wander through the charming streets of medieval Mdina while hearing of the miraculous ways in which its inhabitants held off their siege invaders; see the exact place where a huge treasure hoard was uncovered; and find out why a woman was once paraded semi-naked on a donkey through Mdina’s streets.

Witchcraft and Blood in Birgu

Birgu is an ancient city where you’ll find stories of magic, curses, and spells. It’s also the site of Malta’s biggest-ever explosion; where heretics were strangled to death; where the Order of St John’s mighty navy was flipped upside down by a tornado; and where ghosts roam the city’s palazzos and forts.

Law Courts of Malta

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The highly-decorated baroque interior of St John's Co-Cathedral

Secrets of St John’s Co-Cathedral

Come learn the secret signs and symbols hidden within one of Tripadvisor’s Top 25 attractions in Europe. Hear stories from the lives of the Knights of Malta and the messages they left for you from beyond the grave; learn the stories behind two incredible Caravaggio paintings; and discover why this unforgettable church is a co-cathedral.

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A waxwork of a woman with the plague

A Night of Terror in Mdina Dungeons

Take an exclusive guided tour around Mdina Dungeons at night and hear tales of terror and trauma from Malta’s dark past. Examine lifelike displays showing torturers and their butchered victims, witches, plague victims and more, while hearing blood-curdling stories of these brutal, true-life moments from history.

The drawing room of a palazzo

Dark Tales in an Mdina Palazzo

Gain rare access to an exquisite Mdina palazzo and discover strange stories from its fascinating past. You’ll touch a piece of the True Cross as certified by a Pope, see tiny rooms where slaves slept and the place where legend has it a French solider was beaten to death. The tour will end with drinks on either the roof or in the stunning drawing room.

A view of the large, circular Mosta dome basilica. Pic by Tony Hisgett under Creative Commons 2.0

Book a Private Tour

Want to experience the rich history of the Maltese islands? Book a private tour for any of the dark history walks, or for a family-friendly trip covering the highlights of Malta’s past. This can include visits to the megalithic temples, the ancient city of Mdina, the fishing village of Marsaxlokk and the sleepy charms of the island of Gozo.

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