|Etymology: Pietro Paolo Floriani|
|Motto: Flores mulcent aurae educat imber|
|Region||South Eastern Region|
|District||Southern Harbour District|
|Founded by||António Manoel de Vilhena|
|Borders||Ħamrun, Marsa, Pietà, Valletta|
|• Mayor||Davina Sammut Hili (PL)|
|• Total||0.94 km2 (0.36 sq mi)|
|Elevation||38 m (125 ft)|
|Population (March 2014)|
|• Density||2,300/km2 (6,100/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Furjaniż (m), Furjaniża (f), Furjaniżi (pl)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|ISO 3166 code||MT-09|
|Patron saint||St. Publius|
|Day of festa||22 January|
Floriana (Maltese: Il-Floriana or Il-Furjana), also known by its title Borgo Vilhena, is a fortified town in the South Eastern Region area of Malta, just outside the capital city Valletta. It has a population of 2,205 as of March 2014. Floriana is the birthplace of many famous Maltese, amongst which the composer of the national anthem, 'L-Innu Malti', Robert Samut; former Bishop of Malta Dun Mauro Caruana, the poet Oliver Friggieri, the writer and politician Herbert Ganado and Swedish Idol winner Kevin Borg.
The origins of Floriana date back to 1635, when the Italian military engineer Pietro Paolo Floriani from Macerata designed the Floriana Lines to serve as the outer defences of the capital Valletta. Construction of the fortifications began in 1636, and work continued until the early 18th century. In 1724, the Portuguese Grand Master António Manoel de Vilhena founded a suburb in the area between the Floriana Lines and the Valletta Land Front, and it was called Borgo Vilhena. The suburb eventually became a town in its own right, and it became known as Floriana after the military engineer.
The Assoċjazzjoni Sport Floriana, or Floriana Sports Association, sponsors a number of sports in the town, as well as hosting the Floriana Supporters Club. Sporting clubs include:
- Floriana Football Club which was the most successful football club in Malta throughout the 20th century
- Floriana Amateur Football Club
- Floriana Basketball Club
- Klabb Boċċi Floriana (trans.: Floriana Bowling Club)
- Young Stars Hockey Club
- Floriana AFC
The Vikings Sailing Club is also located in Floriana, though it is not associated with the Sports Association.
Saint Publius is one of the patron saints of Malta and also the patron saint of Floriana. The Archipresbyteral Church of Floriana is dedicated to Saint Publius, traditionally acclaimed as the first Bishop of Malta. According to tradition, Publius received the Apostle Paul during his shipwreck on the island as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles 28, 1-10.
Being Maltese makes St. Publius the first Maltese saint and this explains the devotion which St. Publius enjoys around Malta and Gozo. One finds various chapels and statues scattered around the Maltese Islands which date back to hundreds of years.
Pope John Paul II spoke at Publius Square during his two visits to Malta, and on his second visit held the beatification ceremony there for three Maltese:
- The Floriana Lines
- Soċjetà Filarmonika Vilhena, or Vilhena Band Club, named after the town's founder.
- Pjazza San Publiju (St. Publius Square) and the adjacent granaries. St Publius Square has been the venue for many important events in the history of Malta.
- The Mall Garden
- Centru Rikreattiv ir-Re Gorg V (King George V Recreational Grounds)
- Porte des Bombes
- Herbert Ganado Gardens
- Argotti Botanical Gardens
- Msida Bastions Garden of Rest, on Hay Wharf, another landmark which has been restored and reportedly contains the grave of Mikiel Anton Vassalli, an 18th-century writer and reformer who is much associated with Malta's national identity.
- Jubilee Grove (which demarcates the town from Ħamrun and Pietà)
- Valletta Waterfront
- Hydrofoil terminal, which is very busy during summertime with daily departures to Sicily.
- Pjazza Emm. S. Tonna (E.S. Tonna Square)
- Pjazza San Kalċidonju (St. Calcidonio Square)
- Triq il-Konservatorju (Conservatory Street)
- Triq il-Mall (Maglio Street)
- Triq il-Miratur (Gunlayer Street)
- Triq is-Suq (Market Street)
- Triq l-Argotti (Argotti Street)
- Triq l-Iljun (Lion Street)
- Triq l-Isqof M. Caruana (Bishop M. Caruana Street)
- Triq San Publju (St. Publius Street)
- Triq San Tumas (St. Thomas Street)
- Triq Sarria (Sarria Street)
- Trejqet il-Fosos
Floriana is a leading administrative centre, hosting the Ministry and Dept of Education, the Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs, Police Headquarters and the Public Works Dept, The Licensing and Testing Office, and Land Transport Directorate of Transport Malta, as well as other financial and commercial companies spread around the former Colonial Administrative Area of Beltissebh. The National Audit Office along with the Department of Contracts and the Malta Environment and Planning Authority, are located in two fort ravelins, Notre Dame and St. Francis, respectively.
The Floriana Local Council was created in 1993 along with Malta's other local councils to administer the town. It is located at Emmanuel S. Tonna Square. The following people have served as mayor since the post was created in 1994:
- Publio Agius (1994-1998)
- Nigel Holland (1998-2004)
- John Mary Brincat (2004-2004)
- Publio Agius (2004-2007)
- Nigel Holland (2007-2012)
- Davina Sammut (2012-2012)
- Nigel Holland (2012-2015)
- Davina Sammut Hili (2015- )
Current Councillors that are serving from 2015-2019:
- Vince Borg (PL)
- James Aaron Ellul (PN)
- Ivan Hallet (PL)
- Matthew Paris (PN)
Lodging and entertainment
Floriana is home to the Hotel Phoenicia, one of the oldest and most prestigious hotels on Malta, as well as the 5 star luxury Hotel; and the Grand Hotel Excelsior. There are also plans by the Maltese government to convert the old British hospital, Sir Paul Boffa which overlooks the Valletta Waterfront (also in Floriana) into an exclusive boutique hotel.
- Vilhena Band Club (Soċjetà Filarmonika Vilhena) was founded in 1874. The first musical director of the band was Mro. Giuseppe Borg, and the first president of the Society was Baldassare Portanier.
- Kevin Borg a Maltese singer and Swedish Idol 2008 winner was born in the town. He moved to Arvidsjaur, Sweden in late 2007 to live with his girlfriend and was soon cast as a contestant on the Swedish Idol series.
Floriana community services
- St. Publius Parish Church, Triq Sarria (Sarria Street)
- Floriana Local Council, Pjazza Emanuel S. Tonna (Emanuel S. Tonna Square)
- Floriana Police Station, Triq Sant' Anna (St. Anne Street)
- Floriana Malta Labour Party Club, Triq Sant' Anna (St. Anne Street)
- Floriana Partit Nazzjonalista Club, Pjazza Sant' Anna (St. Anne Square)
- Sir Paul Boffa Hospital, Sqaq Ħarper (Harper Lane)
- Floriana Health Centre, Triq Franġisk Saver Fenech (Frances Xavier Fenech Street)
- Central Public Library, Triq Joseph J. Mangion (J.J. Mangion Street)
Zones in Floriana
- Belt il-Ħażna, limits of Blata l-Bajda
- Crown Works, limits of Blata l-Bajda
- Fuq il-Biskuttin
- Foss Horns
- Foss Notre Dame
- Ġnien Tal-Milorda
- Hay Wharf (Xatt it-Tiben)
- Independence Arena (Xagħra tal-Furjana)
- Jubilee Grove
- Sa Maison
- Xatt il-Kanuni
- Xatt Lascaris (Lascaris Wharf)
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