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Address: St. Elmo Pl., Valletta, Island of Malta VLT 1741, Malta
Phone Number:
+356 2123 3088
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours

Fort St Elmo - National War Museum The National War Museum houses a superb...

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

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 649 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 237
  • 142
    Very good
  • 44
  • 11
  • 7
Very interesting

This museum was very interesting and appears to be a work in progress. The information available is vast and the exhibits cater for a range of different learning styles. I... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Josie L
via mobile
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649 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 441: English reviews
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
163 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed yesterday NEW

My great grandfather served in the British army in the early 1900's, and my maternal grandfather was born in Valletta, I'm told in the fort. So this was more than just a visit to the fort for me. It was a personal visit that was helping me to know more about my family and it was particularly poignant as my... More 

Thank KAButler2014
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
198 reviews
130 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

If you are a history buff or worse like me an ex GI. Then by all means go to this Fort. When you get there you will see a classic Star Fort. (Built that no matter what. The enemy had no place to hid under the walls) I still do not see how the Turks took this place during the... More 

Thank David L
Frinton-On-Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Went to see the enactment on a Sunday, you need 30 mins to walk through Valletta town centre (it's at the end) Well worth the money xx

Thank 121lozzy
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

This museum was very interesting and appears to be a work in progress. The information available is vast and the exhibits cater for a range of different learning styles. I struggled with exhibits 1 - 3 as there was so so so much reading, but for those with a longer attention span then I'm sure this wouldn't be an issue.... More 

Thank Josie L
North Ayrshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 week ago

The Fort St Elmo. site covers a large area on a headland in Valetta. Many individual rooms within the fort are given over to a variety of differing museums. They were all truly wonderful, covering Malta history very thoroughly over at least the last 1000 years. The battlements also have great panoramic. Would say much better value than the next... More 

Thank ffed
Hereford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
107 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We had visited Valletta today specifically to visit this museum as it was closed when we were here a few years ago it did not disappoint although some of the presentation is quite complicated The presentations in the first rooms were quite long winded and a little tedious all about the Knights of St John and the different battles

Thank colin a
Belgrade, Serbia
Level Contributor
930 reviews
672 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 472 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This place is the pivot point in struggle against the Turks for control of the Mediterranean. Brave Knights of St John fought to the last man, but eventually was overwhelmed and fort was captured. However, Turks sustained too many casualties and were forced to withdraw. Many parts of the fort nowdays are reconstructions, due to heavy damages it sustained during... More 

Thank Aleksandar S
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Not that much of intrest for myself. If you have spare time it could be worth a visit. I think kids would be board here, but there is plenty of safe room for them to run around.

Thank 7shrewsburypaul
Greater Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
347 reviews
134 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

There are 7 rooms. After the first I was worried - there was hardly anything there. But things improved markedly after that. Spent 2 hours there. Room 7 is an audio-visual presentation. As good it better than others seen in Malta. It happens on the hour - so be aware.

Thank John F
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

As the title states, if you only have one day to look around Valletta, a visit to this fort should not be missed. Presently it is 10 euros entry per adult and 7.5 Euros for those over 60. We spent three hours looking around, though the internal museum displays will take up most of this time. The views across the... More 

1 Thank Robert J

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