The Lion Fountain
N 35° 53.469 E 014° 30.285
The Lion Fountain is stop #13 on the Floriana Heritage Trail. It is located on a traffic island in the middle of St. Anne Street in Floriana, Malta.
The lion on this baroque fountain has been the guardian of Floriana since 1728. A lion is seated on an elaborate base above a large fountain. He is holding a crowned shield in its right paw. The dado in front of the base is inscribed in Latin:
IN DIES AUGESCENTIB
EM M.M.D. ANTONIUS
PR. POLULI STUDIOS.
FONTEMQ. TRIBUI JUSSIT
AN. SAL. MDCCXVIII
An information sign on the sidewalk gives the following history of the fountain:
This is a baroque fountain topped by a lion. The lion was part of the coat of arms of Grand Master Vihena and is now the sole figure of the Floriana's coat of arms. It has "guarded" the town since 1728. The inscriptions in Latin found at the bottom part of the fountain say "To the increasing population of this suburb, Grand Master Don Anton Manuel De Vihena, who holds the inhabitants so close to his heart, decreed that this Fountain is erected - 1728". During wartime, the Lion was encased in stone and placed for protection beneath the first arcade in St. Anne Street. Later on, it was kept for preservation by Mr. E. Falzon at his Express Garage in St. Anne Square. The fountain was reconstructed in 1958 and started functioning again on 1st January 1959.
The stamp was issued by Malta in 2013 as part of a three stamp set depicting the treasures of Malta.