The Basilica of St. Dominic is one of the three parish churches of Valletta. It is administered by the Dominican Order whose convent is located behind the church.
The land upon which the church and convent are built were given to the order by Grand Master Pierre de Monte. Girolamo Cassar was commissioned to draw up the plans. The first stone was laid on 19 April 1571. The parish was established on 2 July 1571 by a decree given by Pope Pius V, considered as the benefactor of the construction of Valletta. It was dedicated to Our Lady of Fair Havens which means 'Good Harbour' because of the great number of sailors that used to attend services at the small chapel that the Dominicans had built prior to the construction of the large church. It was also declared that the parish of St Dominic would be the principle parish church of the city.
The church was closed and declared unsafe on July 24, 1780 as a consequence of earthquakes and severe storms. A new church was built on the same site of the original church some 25 years after it was closed. The church was opened and blessed on May 15, . The church was elevated to the dignity of a Minor basilica on March 25, 1816. The church was finally consecrated on October 15, 1889 by Archbishop Pietro Pace.References:
Tyniec Benedictine abbey was founded by King Casimir the Restorer probably around 1044. Casimir decided to rebuild the newly established Kingdom of Poland, after a Pagan rebellion and a disastrous Czech raid of Duke Bretislaus I (1039). The Benedictines, invited to Tyniec by the King, were tasked with restoring order as well as cementing the position of the State and the Church. First Tyniec Abbot was Aaron, who became the Bishop of Kraków. Since there is no conclusive evidence to support the foundation date as 1040, some historians claim that the abbey was founded by Casimir the Restorer’ son, King Boleslaw II the Generous.
In the second half of the 11th century, a complex of Romanesque buildings was completed, consisting of a basilica and the abbey. In the 14th century, it was destroyed in Tatar and Czech raids, and in the 15th century it was rebuilt in Gothic style. Further remodelings took place in the 17th and 18th centuries, first in Baroque, then in Rococo style. The abbey was partly destroyed in the Swedish invasion of Poland, and soon afterwards was rebuilt, with a new library. Further destruction took place during the Bar Confederation, when Polish rebels turned the abbey into their fortress.
In 1816, Austrian authorities liquidated the abbey, and in 1821-1826, it was the seat of the Bishop of Tyniec, Grzegorz Tomasz Ziegler. The monks, however, did not return to the abbey until 1939, and in 1947, remodelling of the neglected complex was initiated. In 1968, the Church of St. Peter and Paul was once again named the seat of the abbot. The church itself consists of a Gothic presbytery and a Baroque main nave. Several altars were created by an 18th-century Italian sculptor Francesco Placidi. The church also has a late Baroque pulpit by Franciszek Jozef Mangoldt.