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Fort St Elmo - National War Museum

St. Elmo Pl., Valletta, Island of Malta VLT 1741, Malta
+356 2123 3088
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Fort St Elmo - National War Museum The National War Museum houses a superb collection of items which takes us back to prehistoric times. The items are displayed in chronological order and start with the early phases of the Bronze Age around 2,500 B.C. During the second Punic war Malta changed hands and became part of the mighty Roman Empire. The disintegration of the latter led to a period of unrest where it is speculated that Malta was subject to vandal attacks. The Eastern Roman Empire officially recognised as the Byzantines, reconquered Malta in 535AD. Little is unfortunately known about life on the islands during Byzantine times as Malta is rarely mentioned in historic documents. Malta changed hands again in 870AD following a fierce battle between the Arabs and the Byzantines. For the next 221years Malta was ruled by the Arabs and once again the culture changed to reflect these new rulers. The Normans, a rising power of the time, won Malta in 1090. These were succeeded by other European rulers that also governed the Kingdom of Sicily, namely the Swabians, Angevins, Aragon/Catalans and finally the Spanish. Malta's Middle Ages ends in 1530 with the arrival of the Knights of the Order of St. John. Medieval armour and other equipment displayed highlights the complex power struggle emerging in the Mediterranean and in Europe between Christians and Muslims with prominence being given to the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. The post-Great Siege period saw the building of Valletta, numerous fortresses, fortification works and coastal fortifications throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. The Order of St. John's rule in Malta was brought to an end by arrival of the French in Malta led by none other than Napoleon Bonaparte. The rule of the French did not last long however. Just three months after their arrival the Maltese rebelled and with the assistance of the British, Malta got rid of the French invaders. The British took over Malta and transformed it into one of their many colonies. Two halls are dedicated to Malta's important role in WW I, the Inter-War Period and Malta's historical role in the Second World War. Displayed in these halls one can find perhaps the three most important icons of this museum: the Gloster Sea Gladiator N5520 FAITH, Roosevelt's Jeep 'Husky' and Malta award for gallantry, the George Cross. Concluding the walk through Malta's military role in history are displays dedicated to Malta's Independence, becoming a Republic, Freedom Day and Malta joining the European Union
  • Excellent48%
  • Very good36%
  • Average13%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“fort st” (30 reviews)
“great siege” (32 reviews)
Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
St. Elmo Pl., Valletta, Island of Malta VLT 1741, Malta
+356 2123 3088
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Reviews (683)
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1 - 10 of 463 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

My brother and I visited (our tickets cost 7.50 euro each with student discount- just show your student ID at the ticket counter) and were thoroughly impressed! Cool venue, of course, but we really liked how it walked you through history. It talks about history...More

Thank Kelsey Q
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The fort, datings back to the 16th century, has a fascinating history from the siege by the Moors in the 1560s to the Second World War. There are two parts to a tour of the Fort; looking round the fort itself, which is extensive and...More

Thank Ewen M
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Fort St Elmo dominates the entrance to both the Grand and Marsamxett Harbours and is apparently named after the patron saint of mariners. The Fort was built by the Knights of St John in 1552 and bore the brunt of the fighting with the Turks...More

1  Thank westy54
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The war museum takes you through the history of Malta from earliest times to the present day. Many audio visual presentations bring to life in particular the siege of Malta from the Ottomans through to the second world war. The museum is based in Fort...More

Thank Paul H
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I thought this was well laid out and it took you through the history of the fort and Malta chronologically. I thought it was a very complete museum that even managed to occupy the attention of my brother who is usually completely uninterested in things...More

Thank B T
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We loved the various exhibits showing Malta's history across the ages. We were very interested to read the least well known stories. The fort is interesting as well it's well preserved and has great views of the great harbour.

Thank travellingsloths
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Visited here and enjoyed the views and learnt a lot of the history of Malta and the different rulers of Malta. It was a shame one of the rooms was closed due to upgrade work but would visit again. Was good value for money.

Thank adam h
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I have been before- but in the last two years a much improved shop has opened-and also the audio visuals are as good as ever- my favourite sections are the siege displays , and also operation Pedestal - which is brilliantly evocative- it is a...More

Thank Schadla-Hall T
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

What an incredible place to visit. The members of staff who were there were more than happy to assist me in my wheelchair, and there was almost nowhere on this site that I could not access. A couple of small exceptions to this were along...More

Thank PhotoColin
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

An intense and emotionally powerful museum that has been recently renovated. There is a lot more than you would expect and describes the remarkable perseverance of the Maltese people during the Great Ottoman Siege and in early World War II. Admission is free with the...More

Thank JPSWashington_DC
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Questions & Answers
21 February 2017|
Answer Show all 4 answers
Response from peter b | Reviewed this property |
Hi Mark. To get into the forts moat, do as follows. When you passed the duck area, follow the way up to the small gate, then you go down left towards to the officearea...follow the shore, it is a little bit rocky...but keep... More
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Mark B
1 July 2016|
Answer Show all 3 answers
Response from Badfeeling2015 | Reviewed this property |
I should point out that the granary is underground and these are the lids
9 April 2015|
Response from Ryan V |
Yes it is open to the public all year round thanks