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FLORIANA, the suburb of Valletta, takes its name from Pietro P. Floriani, a military engineer, who in 1636 was engaged on the extension of the defensive system in this locality. The new bulwarks were intended to provide double security to Valletta and to serve as a safe haven for refugees from the countryside in case of an invasion.

In 1722, Grand Master de Vilhena honoured the suburb with his namesake's title of Borgo Vilhena. The Grand Master's statue now adorns a small square near the Catholic institute.

This attractive little town was devastated by aerial bombardments during World War II. It has now been completely reconstructed and today it has some 3500 inhabitants.

The British High Commission, the American Embassy, and the Italian Embassy are all to be found in Floriana.

A palm lined esplanade, joining the Valletta Bus Terminus to the Mall, is embellished with a bronze statue of Christ the King, by Sciortino, erected in commemoration of the international Eucharistic Congress held in Malta in 1913.

Other monuments and buildings include the War and RAF Memorials, the Catholic institute and the Triton Fountain but the glory of Floriana is St. Publius Church, fronting Granaries Square, now completely restored after the heavy damage suffered during the last World War. ar.

Text courtesy of the National Tourism Organisation - Malta.