|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-Furjana or Il-Floriana), 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.
Floriana is named after Pietro Paolo Floriani, an Italian military engineer who designed the Floriana Lines, the line of fortifications surrounding the town. In Maltese, the town is called Il-Floriana by the local council. However, it is popularly known as Il-Furjana, and the latter is regarded as the official name by the National Council for the Maltese Language. Government sources use both variants.
The town's original official name was Borgo Vilhena (or Subborgo Vilhena) after Grand Master António Manoel de Vilhena, but the name fell out of use in favour of Floriana or Furjana. The name Borgo Vilhena is now used as a title, just like Valletta has the title Città Umilissima.
The origins of Floriana go back to 1636, when construction of the Floriana Lines commenced. The line of fortifications was built outside the fortifications of Valletta as an outer defensive line for the capital city. The lines were named after Pietro Paolo Floriani, the Italian military engineer who had designed them. The fortifications were partially defensible by 1640, but construction and modifications continued throughout the 17th and 18th century, being fully completed in the 1720s.
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 Bocce 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 St. Publius Square during his two visits to Malta, and on his second visit held the beatification ceremony there for three Maltese:
- St. Publius Parish Church
- St. Publius Square, including the Granaries
- The Mall Gardens
- The Floriana Lines, including Porte des Bombes
- Wignacourt Water Tower
- Sarria Church
- Robert Samut Hall
- The Valletta Waterfront, including the Church of the Flight into Egypt
- War Memorial
- Malta Memorial
- King George V Recreational Grounds
- Argotti Botanical Gardens
- St. Philip's Garden
- Herbert Ganado Gardens
- Jubilee Grove (which demarcates the town from Ħamrun and Pietà)
- Msida Bastion Historic Garden, near 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.
- 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 Belt-is-Sebħ. The National Audit Office along with the Department of Contracts and the Malta Environment and Planning Authority, are located in two ravelins, Notre Dame and St. Francis, respectively.
The Floriana Local Council was established 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 (1994–98)
- Nigel Holland (1998–2004)
- John Mary Brincat (2004)
- Publio Agius (2004–07)
- Nigel Holland (2007–12)
- Davina Sammut (2012–12)
- Nigel Holland (2012–15)
- Davina Sammut Hili (2015–present)
Current Councillors that are serving from 2015–19:
- Vince Borg (PL)
- James Aaron Ellul (PN)
- Albert de Marco (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.
- 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
- Balzunetta Named after Barcelonnette in Spain, hence translated to " Balzunetta"
- 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
- Valletta Waterfront/Pinto Wharf (Xatt ta' Pinto)
- Xatt il-Kanuni
- "Estimated Population by Locality 31st March, 2014". Government of Malta. 16 May 2014. Archived from the original on 21 June 2015.
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- Cassar Pullicino, Joseph (October–December 1949). "The Order of St. John in Maltese folk-memory" (PDF). Scientia. 15 (4): 163. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 April 2016.
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- Spiteri, Stephen C. (2004–2007). "The Development of the Bastion of Provence, Floriana Lines" (PDF). Arx – Online Journal of Military Architecture and Fortification (1–4): 24–32. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2015.
- Rix, Juliet (2013). Malta and Gozo. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 148. ISBN 9781841624525.
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- "Isle of MTV Malta Special". visitMALTA.com. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
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