In 1643 Grand Master De Paule was informed that preparations were being made for an attack on Malta. Therefore a military engineer was sent for to investigate what was to be done regarding the defense of the island. Architect Pietro Paolo Floriani came and pointed out the need for the construction of new lines of fortifications where eventually Portes des Bombes and the Crown Works were constructed. In the space between these fortifications and City Gate emerged the new suburb of Floriana.
In this open space many important buildings were erected during the times of Grand Master Vilhena. It was this Grand Master who built for himself a small lodge which later was used as a market. Today this building is known as Montgomery House, known also as the headquarters of Middlesea Insurance.
Floriana continued to develop with more buildings. Up to 1830 during the British period, there were 1,133 houses with 5,666 individuals. After the Second World War many open spaces were filled with more building. The census of 1985 registered 3,327 residents in Floriana. Afterwards there was a drop in the resident population. The beautiful buildings and gardens found in Floriana however remain.
Among these there are the Argotti Gardens where medicinal herbs were planted to be used by the Hospitalier Knights of Saint John. St Philip’s Garden, known as the Generals’ Garden, forms part of the private section of the Argotti. This garden stretches on a lower level of the main garden and its entrance is at the side of the main entrance, leading to an old fountain originally placed at the Palace Square. In front of the Argotti Gardens there is a fountain commemorating water delivery to Floriana and Valletta during the times of Grand Master Wignacourt
Back to the vicinity of the Argotti gardens there is another garden known as il-Mall, built by Grand Master Lascaris in 1656 for the recreation of the knights who played a ball game known as il maglio. During the times of Sir Alexander Ball, trees and flowers were planted, and the garden was open to the public. After the Second World War the wall surrounding this garden was pulled down, giving a better view of the garden. In this place we find various monuments commemorating prominent Maltese personalities such as Prof. Luigi Preziosi and Sir Filippo Sciberras.
In this area we also find the granaries dating back to the times of the Order. Because of road construction and the erection of new buildings, some of these granaries were filled up. Today the remaining ones are still in use. Nearby we find the War Memorials and the onededicated to Air Force pilots who died during the war.A beautiful monument commemorating the 1913 Eucharistic Congress is found in this area, in King Edward VII Avenue, better known as “il-Biskuttin” (infront of Hotel Phoenicia). This artistic statue known as Christ the King is the work of the Maltese artist Antonio Sciortino
A fine building used to house the Methodist church and the nearby Connaught House, erected as a club and meeting place for servicemen, is found in this area. These buildings stand near Sarria Chapel which recently underwent restoration.
Methodist Church - Floriana
Further down from this side there is the famous Floriana’s lion, built by Grand Master Vilhena. This area leads to the other side of Floriana which houses the Capuchin Convent and chapel. In this area we find also the health centre. Down this area on the other side leading to Valletta two other gardens embellish the view. Between them a hospital was built, having an excellent view of the Grand Harbour whilst being surrounded with the Kalkara Gardens. This hospital was originally named King George V Merchant Seamen`s Memorial Hospital but nowadays is known as Sir Paul Boffa Hospital.
The Floriana Local Council is entrusted with the administration regarding the daily life of the residents of Floriana.