Fort St Elmo

St. Elmo Place, Valletta show on map
+356 21 233088
Working hours
Monday to Sunday: 09.00 - 18.00hrs

Last admission at 17.30hrs

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

On Sundays, Fort St Elmo hosts the 'In Guardia' Parade. When the In Guardia is scheduled to take place, the museum opens at 12.00hrs (instead of at 09.00hrs)
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

Saint Elmo`s fort is one of the most important fortifications of Malta. Separating the Harbor of Marsamxett from Grand Harbor, in the Medieval period the fort guarded the entrances to them, protecting the small island state from constant attacks of the Ottoman army.

Earlier the fort was a solitary watchtower erected in 1488 by order of the Spanish Royal dynasty representatives and at that time it was one of the main strategic objects of Malta. In 1533 the tower was expanded and strengthened, turning into a small fortress. But it was not enough for the fortress to be able to restrain the aggressive attacks of the Ottoman army and in 1551 the Turks managed to seize the Marsamxett harbor hardly having encountered any resistance. 

In 1552 the fortification, named in honor of Saint Elmo, who was the patron of the Mediterranean navigators, was erected. The testing in conditions of a real battle was not long in coming – in 1565 the fort proved its effectiveness during The Great Siege of Malta from the 18th of May to the 11th of September. It has become the place of the most furious battles, during the month heroically resisting the massive shelling of the Turkish army. During the battles the fort was ruined and while building the city of Valetta it was reconstructed and strengthened.

The building of the new city did not have good influence on the military discipline of the knights that commenced to construct luxurious palaces for themselves and to tend to a beautiful life. When in 1798 the Napoleonian fleet appeared near the shore of the Marsamxette harbor, the knights not only refused to resist, but received the French army with hospitality. Maybe, thanks to this the Saint Elmo`s fort avoided another ruining. 

Nowadays the fort is not being used according to its original purpose: it has become a tourist attraction. The National War museum is located here and every visitor can get acquainted with war equipment and weapons beginning with the prehistoric times and contemplate the theatrical performances and historical reconstruction of past events.

Up to the beginning of the 21st century the fort was in danger of ruining because of weather conditions (high level of air humidity) and lack of care, but than it was restored and in 2014 again was opened to public.

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  • Bruno Barbirato

    2016.05.06 review from Foursquare

    Game of Thrones Filming Location - King's Landing

  • Silvia Hoppe

    2015.12.10 review from Foursquare

    Go there, take your kids there. Restored site with an impressive walk through Maltese and parallel European and Ottoman history.

  • E. Abc

    2015.10.25 review from Foursquare

    When buying the heritage pass this is a must!

  • Filip Nollet

    2015.10.16 review from Foursquare

    Great museum and views!

  • Filmsquare

    2013.09.28 review from Foursquare

    Fort St Elmo was used for several shots in World War Z (2013) as Jerusalem is overrun by zombies and Gerry tries to escape the city with Segen.

Already visited this place? Leave your review!

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