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“History through W.W.2”

Fort St Elmo - National War Museum
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Ranked #11 of 91 things to do in Valletta
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: 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
Reviewed October 19, 2013

This museum tells the story of Malta through W.W.2.
There are plenty of artifacts, all well labeled. You walk through a time-line dated on the floor. Because of the British navies involvement in the island, there is good documentation of this.
A good place to be on a over hot day, or even a rainy one. The whole thing would only take you an hour or so.

2  Thank Owain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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463 - 467 of 742 reviews

Reviewed October 11, 2013

I really rated this museum as it put a great deal of history surrounding Malta into context. Great to view The George Cross awarded to the island in WW 2. There was a great deal of info about both World Wars Good mix of military & civilian historical perspective

1  Thank Frances Ann J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2013

My advice for anyone going to look at the forts in Valletta (which have an amazing history and are very impressive), is wait for a few years until the renovations are finished.

Thank Sallie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2013

After reading all about the Siege of Malta in the 16th Century when the Turks beseiged the Christian Knights of St John in St Elmo , I was very keen to see this historic sight . I braved the boiling August sun of Valetta and walked it's streets untill I stood outside the gates of the historic fort only to find a sign saying '' Fort St Elmo is Closed''. Perhaps it will be open when i go back next time.

Thank Lobo177
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

The fort looks very impressive, especially from the water. It's a pity you can't go inside because of major restoration works being carried out, but the bits and pieces you can see from the outside look very promising. I would love to see the area fully restored.

1  Thank Ladoga_1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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