Let’s take a tour at National War Museum in Fort Saint Elmo Valletta, Malta

National War Museum one of the top popular places of interest and amongst the most popular museums in Malta. Located in the Lower St. Elmo in Valletta, facing Marsamxett Harbour. It is one of. From 1975 to 2014, it mainly houses a superb collection of items which takes us back to World War I and World War II (prehistoric times).

Artifacts displayed in chronological order, commencing from the early phases of the Bronze Age around 2,500 B.C.

National War Museum - Fort St Elmo

National War Museum represents the important role Malta, and its people played during World War II as well as Malta’s important military role after 1800 under British rule.

The collection recounts the story of events that led the two world wars (First World War and the two years of French Occupation), how they developed and as well as their consequences on both Malta and abroad.

world war

Today, we will tour you inside this prestigious museum and let you see how beautiful the collections are. As I’ve mentioned from the last post:
Malta Tourist Guide in a Budget – What to visit in Valletta.

I said that we had our last tour here and went back home after. Since the National War Museum doesn’t have free access, we have paid for its entrance fee which is 12 Euros per head.

Refurbished National War Museum

Refurbished National War Museum

Before the refurbished, the museum mainly focused on World War I and World War II. Now, its collections include exhibits ranging from the Bronze Age to 2004. The National War Museum consists of a large vaulted hall: 2 long annexes, one on each side of the hall and 3 smaller rooms.

new museum

The left annex largely dedicated to the Royal Navy with various uniforms, equipment, emblems, Malta convoys, and several other related items.

Unbeatable view from the Museum (East part)

breakwater

Looking back to the Saluting Battery Museum that has one of the best overlooking views of Valletta. I could say that this National War Museum has an inspiring charm when it comes to panoramic views of St. Elmo lighthouse and Breakwater Bridge.

the bridge

If you have watched the Detective movie in 2017 named Murder on the Orient Express. This specific place came out and featured at the beginning of the film. And yes, the movie was filmed partly in Malta and the United States as well.

from the cell

overlooking

canon view
The eastern part view of Valletta consists of Ricasoli East Breakwater, Fort St. Angelo, La Guardiola and the Grand Harbour itself.

Unbeatable view from the Museum (West part)

western side

Overlooking the western part of Valletta, we can mainly see Manoel Island. Located to the northwest of Valletta, it appears in Season 1, Episode 9 ‘Baelor’ as the spot where Ned Stark executed after Joffrey commands Ser Ilyn Payne to bring him the traitor’s head.

If you are a huge fan of Game of Thrones like me. Then I invite you to read my guide Top 7 Game of Thrones Filming Locations Guide in Malta.

west view

Elmo Bay

Tip to remember: Get the most out of the most beautiful glimpse of Valletta, and the rest of the entire island surrounding it. Go on the top of the Museums’ exposition chambers and there you’ll get the best view.

Let’s do the Tour

at the entrance

Strolling at the entrance hall of the National War Museum, I can directly see the enormous canon display. They were a slightly rusty (well, not slightly) but it was pretty cool to see them in real.

canons

According to what I found online the location of this Museum is no other than the Old Drill Hall of Lower Saint Elmo.

The building was originally a gunpowder magazine, that converted into an armory in around 1853. This place is where the Anti-aircraft gun crews trained during World War II.

Get to know about Malta’s History

first chamber

Entering the first room of exposition, it was an explanation about the history of Malta in general.

During the second Punic war, Malta changed hands and became part of the mighty Roman Empire that led to a period of unrest where it speculated that Malta was subject to vandal attacks.

chamber 1

The Eastern Roman Empire officially recognized as the Byzantines, reconquered Malta in 535 AD. However, this is rarely mentioned in historical documents.

Following a fierce battle between the Arabs and the Byzantines, Malta changed hands again in 870 AD.

chamber 2

For the next 221 years Malta ruled by the Arabs. The Normans, a rising power of the time, won Malta in 1090. These succeeded by other European rulers that also governed the Kingdom of Sicily, namely the Swabians, Angevins, Aragon/Catalans and finally the Spanish.

chamber 3

Malta’s Middle Ages ends in 1530 with the arrival of the Knights of the Order of St. John. Medieval armor and other equipment displayed highlights the complex power struggle emerging in the Mediterranean and in Europe.

chamber 4

Between Christians and Muslims with prominence being given to the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. chamber 5

chamber 6

The Order of St. John’s rule in Malta brought to an end by the arrival of the French in Malta. Led by none other than the great Napoleon Bonaparte.

The rule of the French did not last long, however, just three months after their arrival. The Maltese rebelled, and with the British help.

chamber 7

Malta got rid of the French invaders. The British took over Malta and transformed it into one of their many colonies. chamber 8 chamber 9

I was eventually moved by the story of Malta’s life. Every country has its own humble beginnings, and Malta has undergone through a bunch of wars just to become the Malta that it is right now.

The Main Hall 

Second Hall

The large main hall at the War Museum in Malta has several important items on a show. Such as the Italian E-Boat, a Bofors anti-aircraft gun, the Willis Jeep ‘Husky that General Eisenhower used during his visit to Malta.

Second Hall 1

There’s also the Gloster Gladiator ‘Faith’, the George Cross, the Book of Remembrance. On the other hand there’s the illuminated Scroll presented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and wreckage of a Spitfire and a Messerschmitt Me-109 fighter aircraft recovered from the sea bed. Second Hall 2 Second Hall 3 Second Hall 4 Second Hall 5 Second Hall 6 Second Hall 7

The photographic panels are also worth examining as they portray the extremely harsh conditions that Malta and its people had to go through during the war.

the main hall the main hall 1 the main hall 2 the main hall 3

They show a great deal of damage that caused to Malta and what had to be rebuilt. Other interesting features are the prestigious awards and decorations received by Maltese service men and civilians during World War II. For their bravery and sacrifice that helped Malta through the war.

The Finale

the finale

After minutes of looking around reading and examining the exposition halls. I could say that the National War Museum represents and shows Malta’s important role in WW I, the Inter-War Period, and Malta’s historical role in the Second World War.

the finale 1

Though I could say that my country’s history was also a phenomenal moment of my countrymen. Malta’s has given me a lot of hope, and optimism. Even if we endure a lot now, we can still stand up, and continue to fight like Malta did to get their independence and becoming a Republic. the finale 2
For Maltese people, the three most important icons of the National War museum: the Gloster Sea Gladiator N5520 FAITH, Roosevelt’s Jeep ‘Husky’ and Malta award for gallantry, the George Cross.

And the most important and interesting piece is the George Cross Medal which was given in 1942 to the whole population of Malta. As recognition for their bravery during the war. This cross now features on the Maltese flag.

Other information

the finale 3

Opening Hours

Summer Hours
1st April till 30th September
Monday to Sunday: 09.00-18.00hrs
Last admission at 17.30hrs

Winter Hours
1st October till 31st March
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 – 17.00hrs
Last admission at 16.30hrs

Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Tickets
Adults (18 – 59 years): €10.00
Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €7.50
Children (6 – 11 years): €5.50
Infants (1 – 5 years): Free

Address: Fort St Elmo, Valletta VLT 1741
Tel: +356 21 233088
For Ticket inquiries visit: Heritage Malta

Sources of information: Wikipedia, Heritage Malta, and Malta Site


National War Museum

National War Museum

National War Museum 2

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4 Responses

  1. Anita says:

    I have not been to Malta yet, so much to explore in future. When visiting a new country I always try to learn about the history of it. It looks like a visit to the National War Museum of Malta could be helpful for that. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Anisa says:

    Interesting! I have to admit I don’t know much about Malta’s history. This museum seems like a great place to learn more and those views are a nice bonus.

    • Alexine says:

      Thank you Anisa, the museum is not that big but the information that it holds has a big impact to the visitors especially to me. I love discovering one country’s history!

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