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Floriana - Free things to see

Before you enter the capital of Malta, you have to travel through Floriana. It is a city in front of the gates of Valletta and it dates since 1653. It really is interesting city to have a nice walk around, and find out some new interesting things. If you want to spend your holidays in Malta exploring around, these are free things to see in Floriana.

The city gate

The big eye-catching gate that is marking the entrance to the city, lies on the two lanes of the main road that leads through the city. It is called the Portes des Bombes, and it was built in 1721 in a Baroque style, one year after the death of the 64th Grand Master of the Order of Saint John, Ramon Perellos y Roccaful. Above the gate you can see a Parello’s coat of arms and a marble plaque.

The garden of Dante Alighieri

After the entrance gate of Floriana, the road will bring you to a garden on both sides of the road. In the one coming on the right side you can see a monument of Dante Alighieri, which was made in 1865, from Enrico Pazzi. Dante is connected to Malta bay writing about it in his Divine Comedy, as a place of extreme pain and punishment.

Gothic Architecture

There is one wonderful building all made in a gothic style, The Robert Samut Hall, a former Methodist church. It was built in 1883 and it was the first building in Malta that used the electricity. Today it is used as a center for cultural activities.

St Publius Church

The dome that can be noticed above everything else belongs to St Publius Church. It was named after the headman of Malta at the period when Apostle Paul was shipwrecked in 60 AD. The story says that Publius invited St Paul in his home, in return he healed his father from an illness. Publius was even one of the first to go in the Christianity, and the first bishop of Malta. The square in front of the church is dating from 1660, and it is very popular for concert and parties during the summer.

Argotti Botanic Gardens

Opposite St Publius Church there is a garden, Argotti Botanic Gardens. In 1740 it was a private garden, but then when the chair of Natural History was established, in the early 19th century, it became part of the University of Malta. Today there are still some architectural features, dating from the creation of the garden, like the Nympheum and the Summer Villa. One of the main attraction is the view over Floriana’s fortifications.

Short History

The name of the city is given after the Italian military engineer Pietro Floriani. This man designed the Floriana Lines to serve as a defense of the capital city. In 1724 Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena gave the rise of the creation of the suburb in the area between the Floriana Lines and Valletta, called Bogo Vilhena. In times the suburb become a city, and after the World War II the finest buildings were recreated.

So, here are the main attractions in Floriana. What I highly recommend is visiting the Robert Samut Hall and the Botanic Gardens. For your holidays in Malta take a walk to the capital city and you will have to pass through Floriana, I guarantee you it will be a nice walk.
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