The Addolorata cemetery, located near a small town Paola, is one of the largest cemeteries on the island. Being designed with great objects of sculpture and architecture, it is definitely worth to look at by the country’s visitors. For its numerous skillfully created monuments and wonderful sites the cemetery was attributed to the list of Malta's national treasures.
This necropolis was established by the local architect Emanuel Galizia between 1862 and 1869, and since then 200 000 burials have taken place on this elongated flat hill. The cemetery was also used to become the burial place for the soldiers died in the battles of the First and the Second World Wars. During the last two centuries only Roman Catholics could be buried at the Addolorata cemetery, until the 1974th, when Malta became a republic. The church almost lost its influence then and it became possible for everyone to be buried at this place, regardless of the confession.
The full name of this burial place is the Santa Maria Addolorata Cemetery, with "Santa Maria" referring to the main chapel, located at the top of the hill. The Chapel, being the largest building at this location, is designed in neo-Gothic style, so those who like Gothic architecture would be pleased to see such a monumental object of this style quite far away from the central Europe.
Visiting the cemetery one would observe the monumental tombstones of the place, both the habitual and more sophisticated ones, adorned with the statues in bronze and marble or with the sculptures. A number of family crypts can also be found on the territory. When entering or leaving the location, guests can go up on the balustraded parapet on the entrance and observe the part of the necropolis from above. This would bring a more integrated view of the cemetery’s composition.
Despite the cemetery is the place to show respect to the dead and to get into this spirit, visitors should not miss the opportunity to observe it from the artistic point of view. Visiting such places is rather specific but still the great way to see closer people's culture. In this way one can see how the dead are respected in the country. The true, unvarnished level of culture can be seen in such places and according to the habits of the Addolorata cemetery, the Maltese people are definitely men of culture.