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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 607 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 219
  • 135
    Very good
  • 42
  • 11
  • 7
Great Views, Interesting Museum

We spent most of the afternoon here wandering from exhibit to exhibit of Malta history, well-presented. Outside on the walls of the fort you get lovely views of the city... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 6 days ago
Thomas V
Oakland, California
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607 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 414: English reviews
Weston, Florida
Level Contributor
844 reviews
512 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 233 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

We had a lovely time today at the Fort St Elmo. We saw a fun reenactment and visited the fort and the War Museum. The Fort has the most terrific views! I took so many photos, it was ridiculous. At the War Museum, my husband learned just the right amount about the history of Malta to make it interesting but... More 

Thank Pomerols
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
714 reviews
320 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

We spent most of the afternoon here wandering from exhibit to exhibit of Malta history, well-presented. Outside on the walls of the fort you get lovely views of the city, surrounding area, and waterfront.

Thank Thomas V
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I found the Fort very interesting. It tells the history of Malta through he ages, but outside the Fort there was litter by the sea wall, I don't know if it is the responsibility of the council of Valletta to clear up the rubbish but it doesn't give a good impression to tourists

Thank Roger H
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Great museum with so much to see and read. I only wish I had more time to spend at the museum. History for hundreds of years till joining The Eu. Spend at least 3 hours or more here

Thank hands1987
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Initially we visitedt because my father-in-law was stationed there during the war but found it very interesting

Thank Evelyn S
Hereford, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

It was good to look around the building, in a super location at the end of Valletta looking our to sea. We found the museum disappointing, several films and different media - several on the floor (though a little repetitive about the siege) but annoyingly most of the real exhibits were not labelled - the whole museum just didn't feel... More 

Thank Dave M
Evesham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A museum which charts the history of the Maltese island through its different invaders.Starting with the Phoenicians right through to the Brits leaving in the 70's. Split into different rooms for different time periods the museum makes good use of the fort and gets away from the stuffy packed rooms of a traditional museum. Lots of media based exhibits, though... More 

Thank Phil S
Level Contributor
115 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Well worth a trip, the Second World War sections are really good, found it quite moving. Allow 90 mins, not far from the Main Street.

Thank Martin G
Kirkby Stephen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
138 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was closed last time we went so delighted to find the refurbishment complete. Very well presented history of Malta with artifacts, films and displays in desperate rooms and beautiful views over the harbour. Well worth a visit.

Thank annsandell
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
41 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This museum is outstanding. Give yourself 2 or 3 hours to take in all of the exhibits. They are so well done and give you and inside look into Malta's traumatic and glorious past, starting with the Ottoman Turk invasion (and before), right up to WWII. I don't know who put this museum together, but they did an outstanding job.... More 

Thank jbidding

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