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Fort St Elmo - National War Museum

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Address: St. Elmo Pl., Valletta, Island of Malta VLT 1741, Malta
Phone Number: +356 21 233088
Website
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Description:

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

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Excellent short narrated films explained the vast history.

We visited this museum on our day trip to Valletta and thoroughly enjoyed it. if you enjoy history, then you will love this. A very informative museum which had rooms with... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 4 days ago
Jane S
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446 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 307: English reviews
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

As an ex military person my husband was really looking forward to this museum, however after paying entrance fee and walking around exhibits we both felt that it could have been better. Some of the exhibits were missing and no explaination why. Seem to be a lot of rooms but with very little in them. Views from the fort were... More 

Helpful?
Thank jeand1960
Kettering, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Very impressive ancient fort.Very well restored. Excellent story of the history of the place over the last 500 years or so. The story of the place was told in pictures, artifacts,audio & film - very well done.Highly recommended.

Helpful?
Thank juliegreen17
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We visited this museum on our day trip to Valletta and thoroughly enjoyed it. if you enjoy history, then you will love this. A very informative museum which had rooms with different types of interesting films showed on the wall or even on the floor to explain the vast battles and wars throughout their history. A very enjoyable trip.

Helpful?
Thank Jane S
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

With EU funding this is shaping up to be great. Inside sections are very well curated, with displays and a James Bond style floor video of a WWII fleet getting to Malta against all odds. Outside areas still being worked on, but the views, the history, (plenty of loos!), the atmosphere and the curation are fabulous. Interesting even for those... More 

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Thank gillamos
Grantham, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Allow 2 hours to do this justice. Fascinating stories of bravery and courage by the military and civilians during WW2.

Helpful?
Thank Ian S
Swansea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

When we visited this museum three years ago it was located in a small, cramped series of buildings further along the waterfront, but has since moved to a fantastic new location in Fort St Elmo, which has panoramic views out to sea. The scale of the fort is impressive and the exhibits are fascinating. The history of Malta at war,... More 

Helpful?
Thank Pioden-wen
Hatfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We visited on what was possibly the windiest day I have ever encountered!!! Although the sun was shining, the wind sounded like something from a scary movie. You really got a feel for how grim it must have been back during the war. It is an easy going, informative museum, worth the entry fee. Would visit again.

Helpful?
Thank Clare S
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Has to be one of the highlights of Valletta, a balanced and informative tour through the history of the challenges faced by Malta through to independence.

Helpful?
Thank Jinxs67
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Even if you have not studied the Knights of St John, the Great Siege or the Siege of Malta (WWII) this has to be a must see. Fort St Elmo was the focal point of the Great Siege in the 16th century and pivotal in WWII but at the end of the day it could be just a massive collection... More 

Helpful?
Thank Sophos70p
midlands
Level Contributor
102 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This place highlights the important part Malta has played throughout history. Many people only think of the second world war but its location means that for centuries different races have recognised its importance.

Helpful?
Thank 44west

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