Chapel of St Nicholas & St Lucy
Kappella ta San Nikola u Santa Luċija
Rabat (Buskett Gardens)
Originally two churches, hence the dual dedication, the chapel was rebuilt in 1706. Buskett is a wooded area in front of the President's Verdala Palace, which had been a hunting lodge for the nobility. The cathedral chapter celebrated vespers on the two saints feastdays before World War II. During the war the chapel was a refuge and did not suffer structural damage. After the war it was transferred to the Augustinian friars of Rabat and abandoned until 1960 when it was restored and blessed. It has since been used for prayer services.
There were about 1000 wayside chapels in Malta, built to provide places of worship in small, isolated communities, the end of the 15th century. Until 1828 they also served as sanctuary for law breakers. Most belonged to the common people and were used only on Sundays and the patron saint's feastday. Later they were also built by wealthy families and adorned with art and embellishments. Development has pushed many into disuse and oblivion.
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