Rabat, Malta is a suburb of Mdina. It was once part of the Roman city of Melita.


Arab invaders reduced the size of Melita by building a moat around the section of the city. The part of the city inside the moat became the city of Mdina. The part that was not surrounded by the moat became Rabat.


Rabat is associated with St Paul. Legend says that when he was arrested and on his way to Rome in AD 60, St Paul he became shipwrecked on Malta lived in a cave for three months. This cave, which is located in what is now Rabat, became known as St Paul's Grotto.


Today, Rabat has a church dedicated to St Paul.


There is also a church dedicated to St Agatha.


Because it was against the law to bury bodies inside the Roman city, catacombs were built underground between St. Paul's Grotto and the wooded region known as Buskett. These contained Jewish, Punic, Roman and Christian burial places or or hypogea.


Tombs were dug in rock. Sometimes, tombs that were near each other were designed to form a complex The largest of these complexes is St Paul's Catacombs.


Tourists who come to Rabat can visit the Museum of Roman Antiquities, which contains relics from the Roman temples and palaces of Melita, including mosaics, columns, capitals and inscriptions. It is built on the site of an elaborate Roman townhouse. The site was discovered in 1881.