Triton Fountain

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 Lion Fountain

This is a baroque fountain topped by a lion. The lion was part of the coat of arms of Grand Master Vilhena and is now the sole figure of Floriana’s coat of arms. It has “guarded” the town since 1728. The inscriptions in Latin found on the bottom part of this fountain say “To the increasing population of this suburb, Grand Master Don Anton Manoel De Vilhena, who holds the inhabitants so close to his heart, decreed that this Fountain is erected – 1728”. During wartime, the Lion was encased in stone and placed for protection beneath the first arcade in St. Anne Street. Later on, it was kept for preservation by Mr E. Falzon at his Express Garage in St. Anne Square. The fountain was reconstructed in 1958 and the lion put in place during the night of 31st December 1958/1st January 1959.

Independence Monument

The Independence Monument in front of The Mall gardens, was erected at this site, previously held by that of Grand Master Vilhena, to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Malta’s Independence from the United Kingdom. This monument was modelled by Maltese sculptor John Bonnici, and it is the work of the Italian Foundry Badalotti. The monument was inaugurated on the 23rd September 1989 by President Dr. Censu Tabone.

The War Memorial

The Royal Malta Artillery and King’s Own Malta Regiment Memorials are also in the vicinity of the War Memorial, in its right hand side just across the road. The War Memorial is an Obelisk in the form of a Latin cross originally erected in memory of the dead of the First World War but now revered also as a memorial to the dead of both world wars. This monument was inaugurated by Governor Sir Charles Bonham Carter in 1938. The four plaques adorning this monument are the Maltese Flag with the George Cross, a scroll by President Roosevelt, another by King George VI praising Malta’s sacrifices in the Second World War, and another by King George V who praised Malta for its role in the First World War.

Porte des Bombes

Porte des Bombes, originally known as Porta dei Cannoni, is the main gateway into Floriana. This gate, originally had only one porte and was designed by Mondion and constructed in 1721 by Grand Master Perellos. The coat of arms at the top of the gate is that of Grand Master Perellos.

In June 1798, the Knights of St John lost the Maltese islands to the French. One of the few sorties took place here when Napoleon’s troops attacked and threw open Porte des Bombes. This gate passed through various transformations as the traffic into Valletta and Floriana increased. It was Sir Patrick Grant, Governor of Malta 1867-72, who saw the need of adding a second entrance to the gateway. This was inaugurated on 17th August, 1868, at a cost of £900, thus allowing for the passage of two means of transport at the same time. The writing on one side of the gates says: ‘Whilst I fight the Turks everywhere I am secure in my seat’. A second inscription on the other side reads: ‘For the greater comfort of the population – 1868’.

Wignacourt Water Tower

Wignacourt Water Tower is an interesting stone structure with a three metre high circular pedestal and a rounded tower above supported by pilasters. The structure is topped by a floral stone sculpture. From the unusual shape one can immediately surmise that the structure has had nothing to do with defence, habitation or religious worship. In fact, it is a water tower forming part of an aqueduct system which brought water by gravity from high grounds around Mdina and Rabat to Floriana and Valletta. The fountain commemorates the inauguration of the aqueduct in 1615. It is complete with Wignacourt’s coat of arms and a drinking trough for horses.

Christ the King Monument

This is the work of the renowned Maltese sculptor Antonio Sciortino. It commemorates the International Eucharistic Congress of 1913, which was an important international religious event. Besides the imposing figure of Christ, this artistic bronze monument includes the figure of a lady representing Malta, kneeling in honour of Christ.