In 1610 Grand Master Wignacourt initiated a project to channel much-needed water to Valletta from the natural water springs in Rabat. A system of acqueducts were built which still bear his name. A number of fountains were then built in Valletta to receive the water, and the Wignacourt Fountain, built in 1615, is one of them. This fountain was originally situated opposite the present-day ruins of the Royal Opera House, and was later moved to the side of the Opera House in the late nineteenth century. It was then moved another few metres during the restoration of St James Cavalier as a Centre for Creativity.
It consists of a stone basin into which a head of a lion spouts water, with two interlocking sea shells surrounded by a garland of flowers. It bears the coat of arms of Grand Master Wignacourt and of the Order of St John. On the lower part there is a radiating sun with the motto “Omnibus Idem” meaning “everyone is the same”.
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