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“Home of The George Cross”

Fort St Elmo - National War Museum
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Vittoriosa and Valletta Full Day Second World War...
Ranked #11 of 83 things to do in Valletta
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 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 April 21, 2014

This was a lovely little museum and seeing The George Cross was something I had always wanted to do. The only criticism of this museum was that there were not enough personal stories from the people from Malta from during the bombing. There probably was not much you could have just read in a text book. In saying that, we still enjoyed it.

Date of experience: April 2014
Thank KateThorp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"george cross"
in 153 reviews
"war museum"
in 158 reviews
"great exhibits"
in 18 reviews
"fort st"
in 60 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 121 reviews
"chronological order"
in 19 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 45 reviews
"on display"
in 54 reviews
"grand harbour"
in 46 reviews
in 164 reviews
in 79 reviews
in 801 reviews
in 60 reviews
in 33 reviews
in 50 reviews
in 37 reviews
in 111 reviews

1,518 - 1,522 of 2,406 reviews

Reviewed April 12, 2014

Not too easy to find but once got there lots to look at. Good displays with comprehensive information.

Not many staff around to ask questions but as all displays had good information boards wasn't a problem. Loos on site. If you are claustrophobic then might not be the best place as quite dark in some areas and a definite feeling of being enclosed and a bit airless.

Date of experience: March 2014
Thank debw23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2014

I have to admit to having tears in my eyes at a few points in this compact museum. The Maltese people suffered horribly during the WW11 and the museum details things very clearly.

Date of experience: April 2014
1  Thank Nicoleontheroadagain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2014

Our second visit to this museum, but a first for friends of ours. It really is a must if you are in Valletta. It is so well planned and laid out. You are following chronological arrows on the floor, which takes you through and along exhibits; so much excellent information and really well presented. It really came home to me just how much the people of Malta suffered during the war. The George Cross that the island was presented with is on display. Very moving, superb.

Date of experience: April 2014
Thank Yvonnedate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 4, 2014

The museum is in Fort St Elmo at the end tip of Valetta.
Very well done presentation of the lead-up to WW1 and then a year-by-year walk through to the end of WW2, with a particular emphasis on the role played by Malta and its people.

Date of experience: April 2014
Thank beaverishintensity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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