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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 609 reviews
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  • 219
  • 137
    Very good
  • 42
  • 11
  • 7
Interesting and Informative

I enjoyed the War Museum far more than I expected. As you travel through each exhibit, you also move around the Fort.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 8 October 2016
Edmonton, Canada
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609 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 416: English reviews
Sandwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
91 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2016

The re-enactment here isn't done all year round but don't miss it if it's on while you're there. The costumes, drums and weapons are excellent!

Thank Venetia60
Lakenheath, Suffolk
Level Contributor
286 reviews
148 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2016

This is a most interesting museum that provides a lot of information about the history of Malta. You go from section to section moving on throug time in each area. Plus you have the fort before, afterwards and in between. An excellent place to visit. And there was seating in the parade ground, and also the toilets were very clean!

Thank Lucy A
County Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2016

For such a tiny island, Malta must have one of the most extensive and diverse warfare histories. Well, Fort St Elmo is an opportunity to witness some of these memorable events that give credence not only to Malta's role on the world stage but also to the fortitude and resolve of its people and the numerous powers that ruled over... More 

Ashland, Oregon
Level Contributor
125 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2016

First of all, I need to preface this by saying I am not only a historian (college professor), but a first-class museum junkie. This means I have not only seen a lot museums, but, from a historical viewpoint, I have seen a lot of just so-so museums in terms of how they present history. This museum was a wonderful, unexpected... More 

Thank debkits
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2016 via mobile

Overall: This has to be one of the best experience I have had in this type of set up. The way information is presented is fun, interactive and very clever (eg projections onto the floor and walls, static posters and real artifacts from a given point in history) so it keeps the interest from start to finish. I spent approximately... More 

Thank Zipmans
Level Contributor
49 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2016

This is a fascinating museum in Valletta. Lots of history of the island and how important the island was in WWII. There are also spectacular views of the water and surrounding area at the fort.

Thank MeredithFlorida
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2016

I enjoyed the War Museum far more than I expected. As you travel through each exhibit, you also move around the Fort.

1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 October 2016 via mobile

Definitely worth a visit for the views of the Fort and the quality of the extensive museum. The museum covers from the 1500s upto the present day.

Thank Amanda B
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
614 reviews
251 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2016 via mobile

Very spread out and somewhat difficult to get to but worth the effort. It uses the existing military bastions as stations to tell the military story of Malta. Nicely done and worth the time and money.

Thank Bobby44881
Cullompton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 October 2016

Being interested in the history of any country we are visiting, we decided to start our trip to Malta with a visit to Fort St Elmo as we wanted to get an insight into the past and this pretty much lived up to our expectations. The fort played a significant part in the siege of Malta in 1565 and stood... More 

Thank Calamy

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