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Our Lady Star of the Sea, Sliema

Parish Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea (Stella Maris)
Triq il-Kbira, Sliema

SliemaSliema became a major residential town in the 19th century and the small chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin was soon outgrown by the increasing population of the local community. The more influential members of the community appealed to the Bishop for the construction of a new church, which was granted a year later.  Local architect Giuseppe Bonavia was entrusted with the design, and construction commenced in 1853 and completed not long after. The new church was then substantially modified and enlarged in the 1870s which included the construction of two transept arms, the sacristy, the extension of the east end and construction of the dome.  Bonavia once again was in charge of the changes. Soon after these works were completed the Bishop made Stella Maris a parish in its own right breaking away from Birkirkara.

In 1909, the church was altered again, this time in the form of a new façade. Although architect Bonavia had already passed away, the design is still attributed to him, as some believe he designed the new façade when the major alterations were taking place.

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority originally scheduled the parish church as a Grade 1 monument on 10th November 1995 as per Government Notice 700