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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

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History of Malta

No matter whether you are a history fan or not, the Fort St Elmo is an interesting place to visit. The fort itself occupies quite a big area but during our visit in the summer of... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Nik R
Varna, Bulgaria
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593 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 403: English reviews
Varna, Bulgaria
Level Contributor
315 reviews
202 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

No matter whether you are a history fan or not, the Fort St Elmo is an interesting place to visit. The fort itself occupies quite a big area but during our visit in the summer of 2016, many sections of it were closed for renovation. You can see wonderful views of the Grand Harbour (for whose protection it was actually... More 

Thank Nik R
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

This is a fascinating museum that puts together the history of Malta, its occupation over the years by Christian and Muslim Ottoman forces and entwines it into European and World history of the same periods.

Thank Alan T
Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
141 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This is not Disney so don't expect state of the art displays etc., it is fascinating history and in a great rebuilt condition. A huge fort with lots to see, easily spend a couple of hours here.

Thank PJKNorthernIreland
Level Contributor
140 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Our ticket allowed us to visit 2 sites- Fort St Elmo and the 1566 Valletta Exhibition. The sites were close together and convenient to access. Both sites had extensive displays backed up with cine footage. The history of Malta from ancient times to the present were covered. Quite a lot of walking is required to see everything.

Thank CrankyNWEngland
Level Contributor
139 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The National War Museum started off just doing the two World Wars, but there is much more there now. It is clear that Malta has been the centre of many more wars than that! The museum gives a good overview of many of them but also has some unique artefacts that bring more of the island's history to life, like... More 

Thank ShaunH290
Weston super Mare, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Interesting museum for early history and war fans. Walk through time periods. Fabulous views from prominent ramparts.

Thank sarahcK781SR
Windsor, Canada
Level Contributor
560 reviews
120 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 217 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The deep history of Malta is put on display here. It's well laid out and well organized. The museum takes you through many battles over the many years and offers plenty of information and some aided with videos. It's broken up into several areas and small walks take you from one to the other. Great knowledge and great views are... More 

Thank Rick K
Gosport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I really did rate the war museum section of the fort. It was set up well , modern, informative and had a good range of artefacts. The fort itself has obviously has had a lot of money put into it and it offers great views of the grand harbour. However it does have the feeling of being incomplete. there were... More 

Thank Graham G
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
133 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

This exhibition, in the Vendome Bastion of the lower part of Fort St Elmo, is an excellent (although temporary - it is on until July 2017) display charting the 450 years of the city of Valletta. It is put together jointly by Malta Libraries and Heritage Malta. Amazingly, this exhibition does not seem to be much advertised and we were... More 

Thank Philip M
Darlington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2017

St Elmo's was a complete surprise for us. In fact, we could have done with a little more time here to do more exploring! There is a lot to see and read, rooms and rooms of info. There is everything from a beautiful little chapel with a very sad story to stories of heroic effort during the war. There is... More 

Thank KL_Caley

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