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The welcoming of St. Paul
The “San Pawl Milqi” (The Welcoming of Saint Paul in Maltese) site has this name because tradition holds that it is the place where the Roman governor Publius welcomed St. Paul after being shipwrecked (Acts. 28). The governor Publius converted to Christianity and eventually became the first Bishop of Malta. After the Medieval period, there is evidence that at least one church was constructed to mark the site where St Paul was welcomed. After more than a century, it fell into disuse and was later replaced by the Baroque church which now dominates the site, built between 1616 and 1622 and dedicated to the welcoming of St Paul. This site speaks history, as it is also rich in archaeological remains of different periods. Indeed, it shows evidence of a prehistoric settlement from the Neolithic Period (c.4100-3800BC) to the Bronze Age Period (c.2500-700BC). This was followed by the structures of a little Punic farmhouse (from 4th to 3rd century BC) that had evolved into a rural villa by the end of the 2nd century B.C., when Malta was already under the Roman rule. In Roman times, the location where it is found had an added advantage of being close to an important Roman harbour that at the time reached much further inland than it does now.

© Photo courtesy of Heritage Malta