Fort St Elmo – National War Museum
Visitors at Fort St Elmo can enjoy a twofold experience. Originally intended as a war machine, the fort was built in a strategic location to face and hold back the menacing Ottoman attacks. This dominating position now offers unobstructed panoramic views of the harbours and the surrounding towns and villages. The fort also hosts the National War Museum which houses a superb collection of artefacts that go back to prehistoric times.
Constructed by the Order of St John in 1552, the star-shaped fort was built according to the cutting edge of fortress design. The fort played a crucial role in the eventful Great Siege of 1565 which saw the mighty forces of the Ottoman Empire and the Order of St John come head to head.
During the British rule, the fort was modified to accommodate the new requirements of war. Right on the day when Malta became involved in the conflict of World War II, on 11 June 1940, Fort St Elmo suffered the first aerial bombardment on the islands.
Visitors at Fort St Elmo can experience the impressive grounds of the fort, including the splendid architecture of the two chapels dedicated to St Anne. Among the most notable artefacts in the Museum, one finds: military armour of the Order of St John and the Ottoman Turks, the Gloster Sea Gladiator N5520 FAITH, Roosevelt’s Jeep ‘Husky’, and Malta’s award for gallantry, the George Cross.