Places of Interest

Floriana Fortifications

In 1635 the Order of St John were fearing an attack by the Ottomans. Thus, they asked for the assistance of a military engineer, to advise them on how best to upgrade the fortifications of Valletta. Pietro Paolo Floriana arrived in Malta and immediately started working on his plans. He suggested the addition of landward fortifications in front of Valletta, in order to keep the enemy as far away as possible. Unfortunately, Floriani did not get on well with other Knights who were of the opinion that there were other more dangerous areas that needed defending. The building of the fortifications started according to the plans as prepared by Floriani. Eventually in 1670 more defensive lines to the Floriana Lines were added, in order to render these walls stronger.

 Il-Fortifikazzjonijiet tal-Furjana

Fis-sena 1635 l-Ordni ta’ San Ġwann kien qed jistenna li jsiru attakk kbir kontra Malta minn qawwa Ottomana. Minħabba f’hekk, talbu l-għajnuna ta’ perit militari barrani biex jintbagħat Malta, ħalli jagħti l-pariri ta’ l-aħjar mod kif setgħu itejbu id-difiżi eżistenti madwar il-belt Valletta. Wasal Malta Pietro Paolo Floriani u dan mill-ewwel beda jaħdem biex joffri l-idejat tiegħu. Is-suġġerimenti tiegħu kienu ikkonċentrati għal quddiem is-swar tal-Belt Valletta. Il-ħsieb kien biex iżżomm l-għadu kemm jista’ jkun il-bogħod mis-swar tal-belt. Sfortunatament Floriani ma tantx kien jinġieb ma’ uħud mill-Kavallieri, li kienu ta’ l-ideja li kien hemm inħawi aktar perikolużi li kellhom bżonn ikunu difiżi. Iżda il-bini tas-swar tal-Furjana bdew jinbnew kif kien issuġġerixxa Pietro Paolo Floriani. Kien fl-1670 li aktar swar ġew miżjuda mal-linji difensivi li inbnew fuq il-pariri ta’ Floriani, biex ikomplu jżidu u jsaħħu id-difiża ta’ l-istess swar.

Lion’s Fountain

In the centre of St Anne’s Square there is a fountain surmounted by a lion. The lion is holding the coat-of-arms of Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena. Although the fortification lines as planned by Pietro Paolo Floriani had been built in 1635, the Order initially did not give any permission for people to live within these fortification walls. In 1728 a fountain was erected, catering to the increased population of the area. A regulation was also issued stating that no one could stay idle near the fountain, except for those that were drawing water.  By this time the suburb was given the name of Borgo Vilhena.​ 

 Il-Funtana ta’ l-Iljun

F’nofs il-Misraħ Sant’Anna hemm funtana li hija iddominata minn statwa ta’ ljun. L-ljun qed iżżomm l-arma tal-Gran Mastru Antonio Manoel de Vilhena. Għalkemm il-linji tas-swar li inbnew minn Pietro Paolo Floriani fl-1635, l-Ordni ta’ San Ġwann ma kienx ta l-permess biex imorru joqgħodu nies f’dawk l-inħawi. Kien fl-1728 li din il-funtana twaqqfet minħabba li sa’ dan iż-żmien kien hemm numru konsiderevoli ta’ nies joqgħodu fl-inħawi. Kien hemm regolament li kien jgħid li ħadd ma setgħa joqgħod jitlajja maġenb il-funtana ħlief għal dawk li jkunu qed jieħdu l-ilma minn hemm. F’dan iż-żmien dan is-subborg kien diġà ingħata l-isem tiegħu, Borgo Vilhena.

 Portes des Bombes

The main gate to Floriana was through Porte des Bombes. This was erected during the time of Grand Master Perellos. Originally it had one archway. In front of the entrance, there was the usual ditch, which would be crossed over by a bridge. At the entrance to the bridge there were two large pillars, on which there were two large cannon balls. This first entry was called Portes des Bombes. The second decorated archway was also known as Porta dei Canoni. In 1868 a second archway was added to facilitate the passage of the increased traffic into the capital city of Valletta. Eventually there were further modifications to the archways in order to have the tramways to pass through. The last changes to the archway, now with two arches, was the demolishing of the adjacent fortifications, bringing the archway as a stand-alone entrance to the suburb of Floriana. The arches are decorated with the coat-of-arms of Grand Master Perellos, and of the British administration. The columns are in the shape of canons.

Bieb tal-Bombi

Id-daħla prinċipali tal-Floriana kien minn Bieb il-Bombi, kif inhu magħruf minn kulħadd. Din id-daħla inbniet fiż-żmien Gran Mastru Ramon Perellos. Oriġinarjament din kellha biss arkata waħda. Quddiem din id-daħla kien hemm is-solitu foss, u naturalment pont biex wieħed ikun jista’ jgħaddi minn fuqu. Fuq quddiem tal-pont kien hemm grada oħra, u ma ġenbha kien hemm żewġ pilastri kbar, li fuqhom kien hemm żewġ balal tal-ġebel. Din kienet il-proprja Bieb tal-Bombi. Filwaqt li l-arkata ta’ ġewwa kienet magħrufa bhala il-Bieb tal-Kanuni. Kien fl-1868 inbniet arkata oħra, ma’ dik l-oriġinali, biex ikun jista’ jgħaddi it-traffiku aħjar minn hemm lejn il-Belt Valletta. Saru aktar tibdil fl-istruttura ta’ l-arkati biex it-tram tkun tista’ tgħaddi mingħajr tfixkil ta’ xejn. L-aħħar tibdil li sar kien meta iż-żewġ arkati ġew is-separati mis-swar tal-ġnub, u b’hekk l-arkati spiċċaw bħal arkata trijonfali, u id-daħla għal Floriana. L-arkati huma id-dekorati bl-armi tal-Gran Mastru Perellos u ta’ l-Ingliżi. Il-kolonni tal-bieb il-prinċipali huma magħmula fil-forma ta’ kanuni.

St Anne’s Gate  

Part of the defence system that was erected along the Floriana Lines were a number of fortified gates. After entering through Porte des Bombes, there was another gate. This was known as St Anne’s Gate. In front of the same gate there was a rock-hewn tenaille, providing better defence in case of a direct attack. Eventually, with the introduction of the tram, the tenaille and the gate were demolished in 1897 to widen up the road leading into Floriana and subsequently Valletta. The niche dedicated to St Anne was saved and placed on one of the sides, where it still is.

Bieb Sant’Anna

tenaille. Iżda mal-medda taż-żmien kemm il-Bieb Sant’Anna kif ukoll dan is-sur twaqqgħu fl-1897. Dan kien minħabba l-introduzzjoni tat-tram li kien jgħaddi minn hemm waqt li jkun ħiereġ mill-Floriana, jew dieħel lura. In-niċċa iddedikata lil Sant’Anna inżammet u tpoġġiet ma’ naħa tas-swar, fejn għadha tidher sal-lum.

The Aqueduct Tower

After the building of Valletta, the Knights realised the need to have enough water supplied to the fortified city. It was only towards the end of the 16th century that Grand Master Martino Garzes tried to have this dream materialise. Although the project was initiated, due to financial and technical problems the project was never completed. It was then during the magistracy of Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt that these plans were continued, as Wignacourt invited the engineer, Bontadino dei Botnadini, to Malta. This engineer continued the previous work already done, and finally brought the project to completion by April 1615. The whole system had a number of inspection towers along the way, and this one in Floriana was the last one before Valletta. On the doorway there is the name of the engineer who completed the project.

L-Akwedott

Wara l-bini tal-Belt Valletta, il-Kavallieri irrealizaw bil-bżonn kbir ta’ kwantità ta’ ilma li jforni l-istess Belt Valletta. Kien biss lejn it-tmiem tas-seklu 16 li l-Gran Mastru Martino Garzes ipprova jsolvi din il-problema. Għalkemm ingħata bidu għal dan il-proġett, iżda minħabba problemi finanzjarji kif ukoll dawk tekniċi, il-proġett qatt ma kien ġie mitmum. Kien imbagħad fiż-żmien il-Gran Mastru Alof de Wignacourt li dawn il-pjani tkomplew. Il-Gran Mastru stieden lil inġinier Bontadino dei Botnadini biex jiġi Malta. Dan il-perit kompla il-proġett fuq ix-xogħol li kien diġà sar qabel, u f’April ta’ l-1615 il-proġett kien mitmum b’suċċess. Is-sistema kollha kellha numru ta’ torrijiet min fejn setgħu isiru l-ispezzjonar neċessarji, u dan it-torri li naraw fil-Floriana huwa l-aħħar wieħed li inbena qabel ma l-ilma jitwassal lejn il-Belt Valletta. Fuq il-bieb hemm iskrizzjoni fejn jidher l-isem tal-perit li ġab fit-tmiem b’suċċess dan il-proġett.​