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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...

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 279 reviews
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    Very good
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  • 7
Brings to life the various battles fought over Malta

A newish museum opened in the restored Fort Elmo. Well worth the money, as the audiovisual sections brought to life the different battles fought over and in Malta. Particularly... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 4 weeks ago
London, United Kingdom

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279 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Sit on the terrace and enjoy a drink whilst watching the ships in the harbour. The sun shines onto the terrace so be prepared to burn a little.

Thank maltaholiday
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
125 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

You don't expect much when you see the name and location. How deceiving appearances can be. Malta has been a strategic location in stopping the advance of the Muslims in the 13 th Century and the Nazis in WWII. This museum details the important contributions of this little island in both of these conflicts and does it very well. These... More 

Thank SLCparrothead
lisbellaw n.ireland
Level Contributor
60 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We walked here from our cruise ship at a leisurely pace. However it might be difficult if the temperature is really high. The fort itself offers some great views and photo opportunities. The museum has 6 main parts to visit, we took our time but could have spent a lot more time reading and watching everything. Number 1 was a... More 

Thank Ashley A
Southwold, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Enjoyed a few hours hear very well laid out going from room to room showing Maltas history through the ages, audio and video worth watching a must see if your in valleta, Has had a majory restoration and looks very good good for photos aswell

Thank andyco20
Nottingham, UK
Level Contributor
252 reviews
131 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Recently restored, Fort St Elmo offers fine views of the bay as well as the history of Malta incorporating the war museum. The displays are well presented and very informative. We found it a good way to put Malta in perspective.

Thank RichardEade
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
194 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Nice little fort that has a very good 'history of Malta' timeline which really gave us a good feel for malta and how it came to be what it is now and what it was that shaped it through the centuries.

Thank dysonsphere
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

A newish museum opened in the restored Fort Elmo. Well worth the money, as the audiovisual sections brought to life the different battles fought over and in Malta. Particularly good one about the convoys limping in to relieve the WW2 siege.

Thank Orlando76
Island of Malta, Malta
Level Contributor
71 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

A great museum. Exhibits from the Knights era to World War 2. Such museum is a must especially after the recent upgrade. Museum is situated in a prime site, that is Fort St. Elmo in Valletta. Recommended.

Thank Kevin N
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Interesting museum in the old barracks at Fort St Elmo. Each building covers a different time in Malta's military history. Every period is well presented with interesting facts and artefacts and walking from building to building gives a sense of chronological understanding. The WWII section was a particular highlight.

Thank Titchy M
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Pleasantly surprised not knowing much about Malta's history this helped came away with a better understanding. There is quite a lot of reading it took us at least 2 hours very interesting. Also great views from the fort.

Thank Sharon R

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