Ta’ Bistra Catacombs - Atlas Obscura

Ta’ Bistra Catacombs

These lesser-known Maltese catacombs date back over 1,700 years.  


Concealed beneath a traditional Maltese farmhouse in Mosta, the Paleochristian Ta’ Bistra catacombs date back 1,700 years. They were built sometime during the fourth century AD and were rediscovered in 1891.

The Ta’ Bistra catacombs are important because they could potentially reveal the burial rituals of some of Malta’s earliest Christian dwellers. They’re the largest set of catacombs that have been found outside Rabat, where the island’s more famous catacombs are located. The site is 300 feet long and consists of 57 tombs laid out in 16 chambers. It was excavated in 1933.

Unfortunately, the farmhouse that was built on top of the catacombs had caused some damage to the ancient chambers. At one point, the tombs were occasionally used as an animal pen, while during World War II, the catacombs also served as an air raid shelter.

The farmhouse has since been converted into a visitor center. The visitor center, and the catacombs, are wheelchair friendly.

Know Before You Go

Opening Hours: every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Last admission is at 4:30. Closed on December 24, 25, and 31, January 1, and Good Friday.

In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web