This photo, from the late 1890s, is of Great Siege Square, Valletta, located in the area opposite today’s law courts.
If you look closely, near the tree on the left is a policeman. The type of cap that he is wearing is Victorian; those type of caps were worn until 1901.
You may also observe that most of the boys and men appearing in the picture are also wearing caps, as was the norm at the time.
This was a time when photography was in its early days in Malta and instilled curiosity in the general public, which is why almost all the people present appear to be looking at the photographer.
Great Siege Square is also known as Piazza Assedio. It was originally known as Piazza Fontana due to this beautiful fountain decorating the square.
The fountain was, however, dismantled, as water was seeping into the crypt of St John’s Co Cathedral located behind this (refer to pic. 4).
The fountain was replaced in 1927 with the Great Siege monument. The female figure on the left represents Faith, while the one on the right represents Civilisation; the central male figure represents Valour (refer to pic. 3).
The kiosk appearing on the left side of pic. 1, and on the right in pic. 2 due to the different angle of the picture, was still in place until the 1960s.
The fountain is now located at Argotti Botanic Gardens in Floriana (refer to pic. 5).