The church of the Visitation was
built, not far from the Cumbo tower in 1605 by Damiano Bonnici nicknamed
“Wejda”. Previously there existed another one, and before that yet another ,
according to old tradition. According to Dusina in 1575, there was yet another,
dug out of the rock, dedicated to the Madonna, which had been consecrated by
seven bishops who had escaped death from drowning only to die in Malta of the
plague. This church was thought to be under the present church, but nothing was
discovered when excavations were carried out some ninety years ago.
At the time the Rotunda of Mosta
was being built, Parish Priest Dun Ganmari Schembri obtained the permission of
the Holy See to transfer to the new church all revenues of the smaller churches
of the village. The Procurator of “Ta’ Wejda” managed to retain the right to
one bottle of oil for each field belonging to the church. The rent derived from
it would today amount to fifteen cents.
The chapel, situated quite close
to Ta’Qali which during the war was a military airfield, was hit by a German
bomb on the 11th March, 1942. It was repaired two years later, and
the bell cot was added. This is commemorated by a tablet above the door. This
church was never deconsecrated. Among the works done after the war was the
painting of the titular by G.M.Caruana, showing Our Lady singing the
Magnificat, and a statue of the Visitation by Wistin Camilleri with statuettes
symbolising Faith, Hope and Charity. A few years after a sacristy was built and
theparvis was paved. Later a gallery for the harmonium was built. A new altar
was blessed by Archpriest Dun Bert Bezzina on 17th June 1964. In
1965 the ceiling was decorated with paintings of Abraham, Moses, David and John
the Baptist. Below them appear Rebecca, Sarah, Joel, Deborah, Ruth, Esther,
Judith, the verses of the Magnificat, the four Evangelists, and Marian symbols.
Due to the nature of the damage the following restoration works were carried
The facade was washed down using
water and stiff bristle or nylon brushes.
Poulticing was used for decorated or moulded areas. These are basically wet packs applied to
façade and allowed to dry on the surface.
As a result of this, the black deposits emerge out of the stonework and
pass onto the poultice which is later on brushed off.Where possible, reconstitution of damaged stone
was carried out. Plastic repair using a
hydraulic lime based mix was used. A
fine stone dust was added to obtain as much as possible the same colour of the original stone.
Open joints were cleaned and any
loose mortar was removed, while the mortar which was still in good condition was
retained. A mortar similar to the existing
one was used to point the joints. No
cement was used and the mix was composed solely of hydraulic lime, sand and
stone dust. Clay particles were used in
the mix, to match as much as possible the already existing colour.The missing sculptural and
decorative stonework was replaced using appropriate templates which were approved
by the Architect in Charge.