Laferla Cross

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The Laferla Cross takes pride of place among popular tourist attractions of Malta due to harmony of religious symbolism and beauty of landscape that naturally complement each other in this landmark. It is an impressive composition of a 16-meter iron cross standing on a huge limestone pedestal, inside of which a small chapel is hidden. The landmark tops Gholja tas-Salib hill in the neighborhood of Siġġiewi, domineering over the city at the height of around 200 meters. This is one of the highest viewpoints in Malta and hence visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the picturesque hills and the city.

The landmark traces its history back to 1904, when the original construction was built by Ġanni Mercieca from Naxxar on the initiative of reverend Pawl Laferla. The clergyman proposed to erect the cross for celebrating Holy Year and later the monument was named after the architect of the concept. In 1904 the Laferla Cross was blessed by the Archbishop and since that time services have been held there annually.

Unfortunately, strong local winds caused gradual damage of the cross, and 60 years after its construction it was replaced with an exact replica, made by Italian craftsmen. During the subsequent 21 years local craftsmen carried out the restoration of the cross, and since 2014 the Maltese authorities have been implementing a landscaping program near the attraction.

Aside from the glorious views, visiting the Laferla Cross is popular among tourists and locals due to a deep cultural tradition closely associated with the dramatic pathway leading Jesus to the crucifixion site. The ascent to the Laferla Cross is quite long and its last part is rather steep to remind the road to the Calvary, while the atmosphere is complemented by statues of Our Lady of Sorrows and Jesus along the pathway. For this reason, the Laferla Cross is a traditional place of pilgrimage for Catholics on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, when hundreds of lights are lit on the cross and along the pathway, offering an unforgettable spectacle in its beauty and glory. Believers can pray in a small shrine inside the pedestal (unfortunately, at the usual time it is often closed) or in a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Annunciation located on the hill near the cross.

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