War Museums in Malta

By April 13, 2017 July 11th, 2018 Intercontinental Malta
Malta Maritime Museum

Malta has lived through many wars, and was very often used as a military base because of its strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.

There are many Museums on the island that enable locals and foreigners alike to learn more about the history of Malta, most especially The National War Museum, The Malta at War Museum and The Malta Maritime Museum.

The National War Museum

The National War Museum is situated in Fort St. Elmo in Malta’s capital city of Valletta and showcases a good understanding of what Malta experienced during the two World Wars.

National War Museum Malta

From 1975 to 2014, the exhibitions were strictly about World War I and World War II, with more emphasis on the latter. In fact, the most important collection in the Museum identifies with the WW2.

However, ever since the Museum was refurbished in 2015, it has come to contain artifacts hat identify with the military history of Malta dating back to the Bronze Age, and as recent as Malta’s entrance into the European Union in 2004.

The Museum primarily illustrates 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.

Different photographic panels line the walls of the Museum portraying the harsh conditions of life in Malta during those dark times, particularly the hardships of non military personnel life and damage from air raids.

A notable exhibit is the fuselage of a Gloster Sea Gladiator N5520, the only survivor from the Hal Far Fighter Flight.

Gloster Sea Gladiator at the Malta National War Museum

The famous Willys Jeep, ‘Husky’, that was used by Dwight D. Eisenhower prior the invasion of Sicily and by President Roosevelt when he was visiting Malta, can also be found in the Museum. 

Also on display, is the famous George Cross which King George VI awarded to Malta in April 1942.

The collection includes wreckage from crashed aircraft, captured German machine guns, a torpedo, trench mortars and other weapons.

National War Museum Malta Torpedos

Moreover, it also displays items from the First World War and from the two years of French Occupation.

Overall, the collection tells the sequence of events that led to the two world wars, how they developed and what consequences they brought upon Malta and other countries abroad.

Malta at War Museum  

The Malta at War Gallery is located at Couvre Porte, in Vittoriosa (Birgu). It stands to record the considerable difficulty that Maltese civilians needed to overcome as well as their defendants, during the dark days of the Malta Blitz in the WW2 (1940-43).

Vittoriosa is Malta’s old maritime city,  first religious community of the Knights of St. John before Valletta (1530), Great Siege Headquarters (1565) and previous home to the Royal Navy (1800 – 1979).

Like many other places, it noticeably awful bombarded spots of the contention with half of it being decimated subsequently of adversary activity since it was tucked away inside Dockyard Creek.

The show lobby is housed in an eighteenth century equipped drive military nook which filled in as a police home office and air assault careful steps center in the midst of the war.

It sits on top of a gigantic underground shake cut air assault shield which offered shelter to numerous people. This asylum has been restored and structures some bit of the authentic focus understanding.

Malta Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum is Malta’s first ever industrial revolution building and largest Museum on the island with over 20,000 stunning artifacts.

Some of the exhibits include a 1950s steam engine, boats, models of various ships and boats, amphorae, cannons, anchors, weapons, as well as documents, paintings and uniforms.

The Maritime Museum boasts the largest collection of cannons on the island and is in possession of the figurehead of the Napoleonic-era ship of the line HMS Hibernia and a large model of an 18th century third-rate ship of the navy of the Order of Saint John. 

Model of 3rd Rate Ship Navy of the Order of Saint John

However, the most notable artifact at the Museum has got to be the largest known Roman anchor in the world, weighing 4 tons.

The Museum was initially the Royal Naval Bakery when it was was built in 1840s and was used as the main bakery for the Mediterranean Fleet.

The artifacts weren’t in the museum till after 1988, and were achieved thanks to the constant search for identification aided by donations by different people including Maltese citizens, foreigners, companies, foreign naval museums, etc. .

The Malta Maritime Museum is a must for anyone wanting to experience 7,000 years of history under one roof.


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