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.
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.
The King George V Recreational Grounds were Malta’s first Playing Fields.
With the advent of the Malta Playing Fields Association in 1951, these grounds were taken over by this new foundation. A small building to house the association’s headquarters was erected at the same grounds. In following years, the Malta Playing Fields Association continued to provide playing equipment to these grounds, until local government was introduced in Malta in 1993. Since then, the Floriana Local Council is responsible for its upkeep. On 21st February 2008, the grounds were devolved to the Local Council, which carried out embellishment projects of the grounds’ facilities, including the tennis court and the football pitch.
The plan of the Argotti gardens was drawn and formed on St James Bastion in 1720 by the Portuguese Knight Manoel Pinto de Fonseca who was elected Grandmaster of the Order in 1741. It was then that a Spanish knight, Ignatius de Argote et Gusman – from whom the name Argotti is derived – embellished them considerably and also built his palace which is still preserved to this day and a Mc barium which houses a rich collection of dried plants. The house was built with a low profile for defence purposes.
Many eminent Maltese Botanists were responsible for the Argotti during the 19th Century but it was in 1890 under Dr. Francesco Debono (Director) that these gardens became known as the Argotti Botanic Gardens. These Botanic Gardens, with their rich collection of a large variety of trees, and herbal shrubs and succulents are also a source of knowledge for students in their Botanic studies. Some of the trees go back to the time of the Knights.
Floriana Local Council
15, Plazza Emanuel S. Tonna,
Malta FRN 1483