Building of the Waterfront Floriana
In 1727Grandmaster Anton Manuel de Vilhena ordered these stores to be built and were named “the Forni Stores”.
In 1752 Grandmaster Manuel Pinto de Fonseca decided to extend this area with 19 shops and a church, designed in baroque style by Andrea Belli. The church was built for spiritual services for the employees of the shops and stores and for sailors who were moored there. The church was inaugurated in 1752. Although it is small there are two bell towers and a dome. Above the door there is the coat of arms of Grandmaster Pinto decorated with an imperial crown. Below the crown is an inscription “Aeterna Patris Figlio Matri Semper Vergini Nec Non Putativo Patris In Aegypto Tutatis in Humilimae Servitutis Titulum. MDCCLII MDCCLII”.
On the left side of the church (Church of the Flight into Egypt) the Pinto stores were mentioned and on the right side the “Forni Stores”.
Malta was in a strategic location in the Second World War and the British Navy played a significant role in the Mediterranean Sea because disabling the Malta Dockyard was also on the priority list of the enemy. When the Luftwaffe bombarded these beautiful buildings including the church, they were hit by bombs and some shops were completely destroyed.
All of it has been restored to its original state. The church was restored in 1989 and inaugurated in 2006. Above the main altar there is a painting which shows the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt. The inner walls are richly decorated with sculptures.
The colours on the doors indicate what was stored there. Yellow for wheat, red for wine, blue for fish and green for agricultural products.
Although the building is situated in the municipality of Floriana, it is still called Valletta Waterfront. In front of the Waterfront there is a marina which is now used for small boats and the stores and shops have been changed into bars, shops and restaurants. One of the old shops is now the entrance and way out to customs from the docking place of cruise liners and is the entrance gate to Valletta for almost one million passengers yearly.
Address and street / location can be found on our map, click on Guide in the menu bar and you will get a map with markers.
The cozy terraces in the evening.
Seen from the sea.
Seen from the air.
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