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Address: St. Elmo Pl., Valletta, Island of Malta VLT 1741, Malta
Phone Number: +356 21 233088
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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 321 reviews
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    Very good
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A must see for history buffs

St. Elmo's was the focus of BOTH sieges of Malta -- against the Turks in 1565 and against the Italians and Germans in WW II. The exhibition is spread throughout the fort and... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
Jerusalem, Israel

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321 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Level Contributor
44 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

The dates for the parade are published well in advance. The show we intended to visit was cancelled and it was not written anywhere. Even the guard at the entrance of the fort did not know. Nor did all the tour gropus and other tourists that were all there. Why publish dates on the internet if they are not valid?

Thank Janja D
Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
63 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

St. Elmo's was the focus of BOTH sieges of Malta -- against the Turks in 1565 and against the Italians and Germans in WW II. The exhibition is spread throughout the fort and loaded with memorabilia and fascinating explanations. Most visitors probably went through in under an hour, but we spent over two hours there and loved it.

Thank bunnyjlb
Colwyn Bay
Level Contributor
79 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This was definitely worth the wait it having been closed on all previous visits. I strongly recommend visiting this museum at the very beginning of the holiday because the knowledge gained on the history of Malta from 2500BC to present will enhance visits to the numerous further sites on the island. The history of the island is brilliantly displayed in... More 

Thank llanidloes999
Ashford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

The previous time we went to Fort Elmo it was closed but on this trip it was open. And what a disappointment. We thought it would be full of WW2 goodies but instead it was a constant update of Malta at war from day 1. There was so very little there to do with WW2, but if you are history... More 

Thank anonymous946
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Fort St. Elmo is extremely well laid out so it is easy to move from one station to the next. Each section provides excellent history and the audio-visual presentations are informative and interesting. Allow yourself at least 1.5 hours to really get the full benefit.

Thank Liz M
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
200 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I'm still confused. Did I just tour the St. Elmo fortress and it's history museum or did I miss the National War Museum next door, (according to Google Maps) ? The fortress is something to see but much of the history tour relies on slide presentations and voice over. There are some artifacts to see as you enter the 2nd... More 

Thank grivola
Level Contributor
33 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We love learning about past history, conflicts and so on and were a bit disappointed with this one. There was minimal artefacts and hardware on display to keep your interest going and of those at least 50% were without any labels or explanation. The exhibits rely heavily on lineage presentation displayed along the walls with vast amounts of accompanying text... More 

Thank Karen A
Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is a great visit. An exciting museum telling the history of Malta in light sound and holograms. It really is interesting and helps you understand the other culture on the island. Only 15€ for two seniors

Thank Sarah C
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Assured the audio visual would be great for a totally blind person. This was untrue. Pictures interesting for sighted but the captions went off before the could be read alongside the illustration. I scarcely started to read aloud and missed second half. The very last room of exhibits was good.. There were vehicles that could be touched and explained.

Thank Judith T
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
151 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Having been to the old museum which was next door and you were looking everywhere to see all the items on show the new Fort Elmo attraction felt a little clinical but will have time to grow and am sure it will be a great success. all the staff are helpful and friendly all in all an interesting place to... More 

Thank richJay

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