Location: Valletta


Fort Saint Elmo is the most prominent fort in Valletta. It stands on the seaward shore of the Sciberras Peninsula that divides Marsamxett Harbour from Grand Harbour. The fort is well-known for its major role in the Great Siege of Malta in 1565.  It was built years before the great siege; around 1448 where the first watch tower was built. However, later the years the Order of Saint John decided that a bigger, star fort was needed. It was designed by four architects and works began circa 1552.  Fort Saint Elmo was the scene of some of the most intense fighting of the siege in 1565, in fact the fort endured the siege for 28 days, falling to the Turks on 23 June 1565. None of the defending knights survived.  After the siege, some major reconstruction and modification were done to the fort. Years later the fort was once again remodified in 19th century by the British. The fort was the site of the first aerial bombardment of Malta on 11 June 1940, parts of the fort were severely damaged during the war and some scars of the bombing can still be seen to this day. The Royal Malta Artillery left the fort on 26 March 1972, ending its long military history.

After years of neglect and significant deterioration, an extensive project of major restorations took place.  All the blocks of the upper saint Elmo were restored to their former glory. The restorations took over two years, where an all-encompassing work was carried out to the facades, insides, fortification walls and even in two significant churches in the fort.

Today, part of the fort serves as the home for the Malta Military Museum. Other prominent parts act as a cultural venue for national events and even sometimes for private functions.