Constructed between 1697 and 1711 and built within the fortified Citadella, the Cathedral is a fine baroque structure designed by the renowned Maltese architect Lorenzo Gafa in the form of a Latin cross. It is built entirely from local lime stone and has a tall belfry with five bells at the back which replaces the usual two belfries at the front.
One of the most interesting paintings inside the Cathedral dates back to 1739. It is a painted masterpiece that depicts the ceiling as a dome when in reality the roof of the building is flat. This is known as a Trompe-l’œil – a trick of the eye.
Another prominent attraction of the Cathedral is the statue of Santa Marija (The Assumption of Our Lady) which was made in Rome in 1897. The feast of the Assumption of Our Lady to Heaven – the cathedral’s annual festa – is celebrated on the 15th of August, which is also a national holiday.
The Cathedral has been the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gozo since the formation of the diocese in 1864.