During Roman times, Mdina, Malta and its suburb, Rabat were part of a city known as Melita. According to tradition, burials could not take place inside the city walls. Therefore, catacombs were built outside the walls and are now located in Rabat. The largest of these catacombs is St Paul's catacombs.


Extending from St Paul's Grotto to Buskett, St Paul's catacombs contain the burial places of Roman, Punic, Jewish and Christian families. These burial places, known as hypogea, were carved in rock.


About 1,000 people were buried here, in many different types of graves. Some of the graves are very close together.


Parts of the catacombs are open to the public.


There are some frescoes with inscriptions.


Within St. Paul's catacombs, there is is a large crypt with a circular table. This table that would have used for feasting during the annual Roman festival of the dead.


A smaller crypt in the catacombs may have been used as a chapel.


St Paul's catacombs were fully explored by the archeologist Antonio Annetto Caruana in 1894. The catacombs provide the oldest archeological evidence of Christians living in Malta. They are associated with St Paul because of their proximity to St Paul's Grotto.