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“Militaria fans cruise liner passengers' delight”

Fort St Elmo - National War Museum
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Vittoriosa and Valletta Full Day Second World War...
Ranked #11 of 101 things to do in Valletta
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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 28 May 2014

Those cruise passengers who enter Malta's Grand Harbour need to pass around the break water. However at the tip of the capital city Valletta lies one of the strongest fortresses built by the Knights of Malta. This centuries old almost intact still standing fortress guarded the Grand Harbour at the time of sailing ships, but was also utilised by the British in WWII. In fact apart from being a foremost anti-aircraft gun emplacement it foiled an Italian E-boat attack on Grand Harbour which would have otherwise become a replica of Pearl Harbour if successful! This fort at different times since WWII was utilised to built carnival flouts, as location settings for some international films and also as backdrop for Malta Fashion Week! It is being rehabilited piecemeal as it needs multi-millions to restore to its original grandeur. Part of Fort St. Elmo also hosts Malta's small War Museum. For the adventureous looking for off the beaten track walks, a walk outside its ramparts, especially in the late afternoon gives a panoramic view of touristy Sliema on one side across Marsamxetto Harbour, and on the other another large Knights of Malta fortificiation: Fort Ricasoli as well as glimpses of Bighi, once a Bristish hospital settlement for naval personnel, as well as one of the three cities: Vittoriosa.

2  Thank laiduptranslator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"george cross"
in 138 reviews
"war museum"
in 134 reviews
"fort st"
in 50 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 109 reviews
"great siege"
in 59 reviews
"chronological order"
in 17 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 40 reviews
"on display"
in 47 reviews
"two hours"
in 18 reviews
"grand harbour"
in 41 reviews
in 243 reviews
in 76 reviews
in 690 reviews
in 51 reviews
in 46 reviews
in 27 reviews
in 33 reviews

1,293 - 1,297 of 2,118 reviews

Reviewed 27 May 2014

Historic value was excellent if you like history or just admiring the exhibit. Visit the other historic sights to get the big picture of theIsland

Thank dm06110
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

In this museum you will learn about the extraordinary efforts of the Maltese to resist Nazi invasion, and, in which you can see the George Cross deservedly awarded to the entire Island for their war efforts. There are also excellent displays of British military hardware as well as uniforms and memorabilia of the armed services of the day. Also, there is a small exhibition of world war 1 armaments. The museum also charts and documents British and American naval ships that harboured in Malta during WW2. We spent half a day in this fascinating museum.

Thank ditaliaSouthWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2014

This museum is tucked away in a corner down at the Fort in Valetta, it is sign posted but easily to miss them. Needs better signage as this museum is absolutely brilliant, so much to see and learn, there is a time line running through the museum telling the story from both sides. So many artefacts and war memorabilia to see, very informative and easy to spend a good few hours just reading all the information and having a good look around. Another great attraction in Malta.

Thank mike d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 May 2014 via mobile

Make time when in Valletta to visit the war Museum.
It's a fitting tribute to the brave people how defended and endured
During this Ww11.

Thank Ian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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