Herbert Ganado Gardens, formerly known as Kalkara Gardens – name derived from the former presence nearby of the then Kalkara Gate.
Sa Maison Gardens provide a quiet relaxing spot with beautiful views over Marsamxett harbour
The Sa Maison Garden is also known as ‘il-Gnien tal-Milorda’ (Her Ladyship’s Garden) in memory of Lady Julia Lockwood, who loved this garden between 1842 and 1856 until her house was demolished and taken over by the military.
After 1903, this beautiful piece of land was handed over to the civil government. Even though the Sa Maison Garden is quite small, it is very pretty and nicely decorated, well known for its military heritage.
When visiting the gardens you can still see traces of when the garden was maintained by the army such as several crests of the regiment, that are engraved in the bastion walls inside the garden.
A small model of a castle made of Maltese stone can be found in the garden as well, dedicated to the 2nd Battalion of the Essex Regiment. For amazing views over the Marsamxett Habour visit the watch tower called Knight’s Gardjola.
Formerly known as the Msida Bastion Cemetery, this served as a Protestant cemetery from 1806-56. It was restored over a period of ten years and was awarded the Silver Medal by Europa Nostra in 2002. A small museum was added in 2004.
This was the main Protestant cemetery in Malta for about fifty years from 1806. Records show that at least 528 people were buried here and it was more or less full in 1856 when Ta’ Braxia Cemetery was opened. The principal occupants are British servicemen, officials and businessmen and their families, some of whose descendants still live in Malta today, as well as some Maltese.
The most famous Maltese buried here was Mikiel Anton Vassalli, known as the father of the Maltese language, who died on 12 Jan 1829, aged about 64. He was not on good terms with the local Catholic church and had translated the New Testament into Maltese against the wishes of the church. His wife was later also buried here in 1851.
The cemetery lies in the bastion formerly known as St Philip’s Bastion, part of Floriani’s outer defence works commissioned by Grand Master Antoine de Paule in 1635. On the higher ground above the bastion stood the gallows used by the Order. During World War Two the Cemetery was hit by bombs and part of the bastion wall at the far end and some graves were damaged.
The Cemetery was protected by a low wall until 1988 and much was vandalised and destroyed by wind and weather. Vegetation covered the graves and split the stones apart. In 1930 Capt Charles Zammit in his report on this cemetery commented that the great majority of the inscriptions were damaged and indecipherable. In 1988 the Minister of Education, Dr Ugo Mifsud Bonnici declared that the site was to be restored and opened to the public as a garden. A high wall and gate were built and extensive work was carried out by volunteers from Din l-Art Helwa. The original project leader, Mr R.G. Kirkpatrick died in 1988 and interest waned but in 1993 Dr Andy Welsh revived interest in the project and work proceeded steadily thereafter.
The restoration was awarded the Silver Medal by Europa Nostra in 2002. In 2004 a small Museum of Maltese Burial Practices was opened in the building adjacent to the garden by the Minister of Tourism and Culture Dr. Francis Zammit Dimech and Director General of the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland Mrs. Fiona Reynolds.
The Garden of Rest is open to visitors on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and the first Sundays of the month, from 9.30 am to 12.00 noon.
Vilhena garden is a small garden named after Grand Master Manoel Antonio de Vilhena. This garden, which is a belvedere site, was constructed on the initiative of the Floriana Local Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Policy. The garden was inaugurated on 7th October 2000 by the Minister of Social Policy, Dr. Lawrence Gonzi and the Mayor of Floriana, Mr Nigel Holland.
The fountain is located just before the bridge leading to Valletta’s City Gate. It was built on the site of St. Madeleine’s Lunette, a 17th-century lunette that protected the entrance to the city. The lunette was dismantled and its ditch was filled in with rubble in the 19th century.
Landmarks located close to the fountain include St. James and St. John Counterguards, the Malta Memorial (a commemorative monument for the 2,298 Commonwealth aircrew who lost their lives in the various Second World War air battles and engagements around the Mediterranean and who were left unburied), the Hotel Phoenicia, and the Christ the King Monument.
The Triton Fountain was first installed in its present location to decorate the bus terminus that is located at the entrance to the city. In 1978, the plate on top of the fountain was damaged braking also the arms of two of the three Tritons, after music festivals were organized on top of the fountain. The same fountain was left in a dilapidated state until 1986.
In 1986 the upper basin and the Tritons was badly repaired, changing the general view of the bronze group and of the fountain’s jet’s of water.
The fountain is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.
The Mall is a promenade of 400 yards lined with trees and ponds. It was built by Grandmaster Lascaris in 1656 for the recreation of the Knights. Until the year 1942, the gardens were enclosed by high walls but, after the war, these walls were replaced by a lower boundary wall with iron railings to be visible from the street. The name “Mall” is derived from a then popular game (Maglio) practiced by the Knights, which consisted of a fairly large wooden sphere which had to be pushed along a path (Golf style) by a heavy mallet, the winner being the one who reaches the target with a pre-determined number of strokes. Nine monuments commemorating prominent Maltese personalities are located along this garden. The Mall lies along an axis stretching from Fort St Elmo at the tip of Valletta, along Republic Street, along the Mall and on to St Philip Bastion. The garden was opened to the public by Sir Alexander Ball, Governor of Maltese Islands, in the name of King George III.
This garden is also known as “il-Ġnien tal-Ġeneral” (The General’s Garden) and it forms part of Argotti’s former private section. The garden is noted for the beautiful fountain at its centre. For many years, entrance to St Philip Garden was restricted but, in recent years, it was upgraded and eventually made accessible to the general public.
These gardens are homogenous with other gardens and buildings on this side of the bastions, for the excellent panoramic views of the Grand Harbour. These gardens are named after the famous ophthalmic surgeon Sir Luigi Preziosi. During 2002-3, these gardens underwent a complete transformation including two new fountains and a new entry gate, following a project undertaken by the Floriana Local Council. The official inauguration of the newly embellished gardens was held on 27th April 2003 by the Mayor of Floriana, Mr Nigel Holland.
This Neo-Gothic building, completed in 1883, was originally the Floriana Wesleyan Methodist Church, house of Protestant worship. The architectural style of this building is Neo-Gothic and was designed by architect Thomas Mullet Ellis. Work started in 1881 and was completed in 1883 under the direction of Poulsen. It was inaugurated for religious worship on the 18th March 1883. It was the first building in Malta to use the incandescent light bulb alias electricity. On 4th April 1975, the building now under the control of the Maltese government, was inaugurated as a centre for cultural activities.
It was subsequently name for Robert Sammut, the composer of the Maltese national anthem who ? from Floriana. The building also houses a subterranean hall, which was known as the Lamplough Hall which, during the last war, accommodated British servicemen as was the case with the adjacent building, which was known as the Connaught Home and is presently used as an Old People’s Home.
This building was built during Grand Master Vilhena’s reign and was later established by Alexander Ball as administrative offices for the control of grain imported into Malta. This building was subsequently turned into barracks for army officers in 1826. During the last war General Montgomery prepared his plans for the invasion of Sicily, and eventually was named Montgomery House in his honor, and it was in this building that Winston Churchill and the President Roosevelt met towards the end of January 1945 before leaving for their meeting with Stalin at Yalta in February, 1945. The first bomb on Floriana hit this building on the 4th May 1941 causing serious damage. Since 1982 this building houses the offices of the Middle Sea Insurance and since then it has been re-named Middle Sea House.
Floriana Local Council
15, Plazza Emanuel S. Tonna,
Malta FRN 1483