St George’s Square holds a number of Valletta landmarks, from the Mainguard to the Sette Giugno Monument and the Grandmaster’s Palace right opposite. One less obvious attraction is the Fontana dell’Aquila, occupying the furthest corner of the square, overlooking Archbishop Street.
The fountain is notable for its beautiful stonework, featuring a huge gargoyle in the centre. Perched on top is the eagle that gives the fountain its name – aquila is Italian for the bird of prey. The eagle is cast in bronze and is depicted in triumphant posture, showing off its wings.
The fountain is designated as a drinking water fountain, offering potable water. A fact that Valletta’s pigeons did not take too long to figure out, and the fountain is regularly hidden by hordes of birds perched in the sun, their favourite drinking hole right nearby.