These romantic, landscaped gardens have recently been revamped and sit prettily on the edge of Valletta’s ramparts. They offer wonderful birds-eye views east to the entrance to the Grand Harbor and south to Fort St Angelo and the Three Cities of Vittorioso, Senglea and Cospicua and their more famous counterparts, the Upper Barrakka Gardens, are a few minutes’ stroll away on the south-west point of the ramparts. Among the flowers, splashing fountains and palm trees providing solace and shade in the gardens is a Neo-classical monument to Sir Alexander Ball, the first British Governor of Malta, who was appointed in 1813. A number of commemorative plaques mark the walkways, celebrating – among others – the 50th anniversary of the European Union in 2007 and the Prague Spring of 1968.
Accessible from Barriera Wharf along the seafront, the limestone colonnades of the Siege Bell Memorial stand just below Lower Barrakka Gardens. The 10-ton bronze bell commemorates the 7,000 people who died in the two-year Siege of Malta, which ended in 1942, and it was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II in 1992 to mark the 50th anniversary of the siege. Her father King George V awarded the entire Maltese nation the George Cross – the UK’s highest military accolade – in honor of their bravery during the war.
Lower Barrakka Gardens are about 15 minutes’ walk from Valletta bus station. They are in a pedestrianized area of the city and for drivers, there is designated parking outside the City Gate.