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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

Read all 578 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 210
  • 126
    Very good
  • 39
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  • 7
Fort Elmo.

The Fort unfortunately was closed this day, but the hole area felt very historic. It open March-May, and almost hole autumn.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
peter b
Nacka, Sweden
via mobile
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578 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 393: English reviews
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Gorgeous shades of yellowy pink like a gentle sunset, gorgeous views of the bay, beautifully documented and preserved pieces of history.

Thank AngelaClarkZA
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
212 reviews
112 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Fort St Elmo takes quite a while to visit - it is very big. And while there are only displays in some of the rooms, there are still many things to see as you walk from exhibit to exhibit. First - a tip: If you see a toilet, use it. They are rather hidden (other than one directly attached to... More 

Thank Shawn D
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This was such a great experience. There is so much history to Malta and this is a brilliant display of the information. Great for adults and children. There are also lovely views from the terraces.

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I would recommend anyone to visit the Fort/Museum. We spent nearly 3 hours there, but could easily have spent more, as there is so much to see and very well presented.

Thank burgesspeter
Nacka, Sweden
Level Contributor
95 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The Fort unfortunately was closed this day, but the hole area felt very historic. It open March-May, and almost hole autumn.

Thank peter b
Strasbourg, France
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Seeing the walls of the fort, one gets a good idea of the fear engendered by the Great Siege. A lot of human labour and ingenuity went into building that fortress. And it is very well kept. However, the sound and visual effects staging certain historical events in the fort were not sophisticated or informative enough to be interesting in... More 

Thank Cankocak
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Fort St Elmo is an enormous fortification defending the approaches to both Grand Harbour and Sliema Creek. A large part of it remains derelict, including most of the WW2 gun towers and embrasures. The Napoleonic-era and Victorian buildings have largely been converted at great (EU-funded) expense into the National War Museum. Whilst the AV displays are impressive and the rooms... More 

1 Thank Stephen K
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

For many years, Fort St. Elmo, the "Alamo" of Maltese history during the "great siege" lay in neglect and not open to the public. A lengthy restoration has remedied that and now the fort has been thoroughly and carefully restored, handicap accessible and filled with detailed, carefully-crafted multi-media displays! The museum displays will please both those who are seeking detailed... More 

1 Thank Uwe R
Brno, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
147 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Excellent museum with lots of interesting information. I think it's easy to spend even 3-4 hours here - the only problem might be that you'd get quite an information overload by that time. This is no criticism, of course - I love museums with lots of info, I just feel it could possibly take a couple of visits to absorb... More 

Thank Beatrix T
Hungerford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 December 2016

The information is well displayed and you can pick and choose how much you want to absorb, so you can spend as much or as little time as you want here. Some parts of the fort are still being refurbished. There is an unpleasing view of what looks like a rubbish tip which needs to be tidied up; it's not... More 

Thank greatscotts3

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