A visit to St Paul’s Catacombs will surely whet your appetite for further underground exploring, and St Augustine’s Catacombs provide you with that opportunity – being located just a few metres away, their door marked by a plaque bearing the words ‘Ad Catacumbas’.  

St Augustine’s Catacombs, named after the Augustinian friars who owned the land, originally formed part of the vast cemetery that sprawled outside Melite’s walls. Today’s entrance leads to a set of three small hypogea which feature a number of baldacchino tombs and triclinia.  

These catacombs were also used as a shelter during WWII. Inscriptions do appear on the walls of the entrance chamber, among which a Union Jack and a swastika inscribed on either side of the door, as well as the time and date of an air raid warning. The story of the site after World War II is unclear.  

In 2008 Heritage Malta took possession of the site and discovered that the catacombs were used as a storage room for construction materials and asbestos. Subsequent excavations have revealed unique features.   One of the window tombs has two decorated pillars recalling those found at other Heritage Malta sites like Ta’ Mintna Catacombs in Mqabba. None of the catacombs in the St Paul’s cluster have any similar decoration flanking a window tomb, and only one more window tomb has any type of decoration at St Augustine’s Catacombs.   The main burial area of the third catacomb is taken up by five baldacchino tombs; of these, two are joined together along one of the long sides and one has a gabled top carved out as one piece with the burial place.  

St Augustine’s Catacombs

Archaeological Remains

Open by Appointment

Triq Sant Agata, Rabat, Malta


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