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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 553 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 201
  • 123
    Very good
  • 37
  • 11
  • 7
Surprisingly good and very informative

We visited St Elmo Fort war museum on a whim however we were rewarded with an enlightening glimpse of Mediterranean history centred around Rhodes, Malta and the Knights of St... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
Poole, United Kingdom
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553 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 379: English reviews
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Easy to get to and get around within. This fort is very informative in regards to the military history of Malta.

Thank Tim_Fletcher
Whitley Bay, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

This National Museum taught us a lot of the part played by the Knights of St. John in fighting the invaders from the Ottoman Empire and also the sacrifices amde by the Maltese people when bombarded and nearly starved by German and Italian ships and planes in WW2

Thank David F
Eastbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We visited this museum one afternoon to learn about Malta at war. We would really recommend this to anyone who is interested in the role that this tiny island played. There aren't enough superlatives in the English language to describe the bravery of this small nation, no wonder they were (the islands people) the George Cross. Do not miss visiting... More 

Thank gedls1
Level Contributor
101 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

There are not enough placards explaining what you're looking at. It seems like a museum deliberately for locals who may already know the history of Malta's place in various wars. The WWII section was very well explained, but that's it. Even the section on John de Vallette is confusing. It probably didn't help that half of the videos weren't working... More 

Thank Joy S
Reading,Berks, UK
Level Contributor
115 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I would encourage people to visit as ultimately it does explain Malta's place in history throughout time and many wars. Perhaps National History would be a more accurate name. I was expecting far more on WW2, but found the other displays interesting enough. It is quite a stroll from the ticket office and the exhibits are in 7 buildings spread... More 

Thank woodchal
Poole, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We visited St Elmo Fort war museum on a whim however we were rewarded with an enlightening glimpse of Mediterranean history centred around Rhodes, Malta and the Knights of St John. The fort itself is well worth a visit and the museum skillfully portrays its context in the complex history of the Mediterranean especially if you have been brought up... More 

Thank WPBlackthorn
Hessle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
195 reviews
109 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We had intended visiting the Lascaris War rooms but were put off by the many negative reviews on Trip Advisor and decided to visit the National War Museum instead! The entrance fee was 10 euros each or there were some inclusive packages that you could purchase which included other attractions at a discount. A lot of money appears to have... More 

Thank Nicola D
Harpenden, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We were looking forward to visiting the Fort. On our last visit to Malta 3 years ago it was closed as works were being carried out. It was so disappointing to see the finished product. The idea of interactive exhibits is good, but over half of the audiovisual displays were not working. Sometimes there was sound but not the picture,... More 

Thank Sylvia212
Uxbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Well worth a visit to this recently restored landmark. A lot of work has gone into the restoration, and they have done a great job. A war museum has been incorporated detailing the long history and significance of Valletta over the centuries. Well worth a visit at 10 euros.

Thank DavidB_2011
Level Contributor
36 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Visited the National War Museum some years ago and been inside Fort St Elmo when it was used as the Police Academy. I was delighted to see the restored Fort and also the Museum. The restoration and the way the museum has been laid out are very good. Each area displays a different part of the History of Malta and... More 

Thank Barbara M

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