Overlooking the waterfront of Sliema, the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel stands out from a row of surrounding buildings both for its size and beautiful design. The neo-gothic building is a real gem of Balluta Bay, located within Saint Julian's seaside resort area, which is very popular among tourists.
Compared to most well-known attractions of Malta, the church is quite a modern construction, though the initial church dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel was built there as far back as 1859. It was constructed by Carmelites from Valletta, who were followers of the famous Catholic religious order, originated from pilgrims or crusaders in 12th century. While owned by the Carmelites, the building was rebuilt twice – in 1877 and in 1900, but the third restoration became necessary after WWII, since the church was almost completely ruined during the Nazi air raids. It was rebuilt once again in 1958, when acquired its present majestic appearance, and then, in 1974, was transformed into the parish church of Balluta Bay under parish office of Carmelite friars.
Located right on the waterfront on the border of St. Julian's and Sliema, the church enraptures passers-by and tourists by its impressive design, being especially beautiful in the light of the evening illumination. Tourists can observe traditional Maltese wedding ceremonies that take place in the church directly from the beach or the promenade. Since the church is open to the public, there is a chance to see some of Catholic rituals or visit other events, like a concert of religious music or a feast. The most famous of parish feasts celebrated in the church is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel that takes place in July.