About Malta at War Museum
The Malta at War Museum examines Malta’s involvement with the Second World War, offering visitors a fascinating insight into the history of the country and the experiences of its people, particularly during the Blitz. The museum also features an interactive bomb shelter.
History of Malta at War Museum
The Malta at War Museum is situated at Couvre Porte, Vittoriosa (Birgu). Vittoriosa is Malta’s old maritime city, and was the former home to the Royal Navy from 1800-1979. Ensconced within Dockyard Creek, it was inevitable that the city would become one of the worst bombed places of the conflict, with almost half of the city lost to enemy action.
The museum is housed within an 18th century army barracks which was used as an air raid precautions centre and police station during the war. It sits atop a huge underground rock-cut air raid shelter which was able to shield hundreds of people, and has now been restored as part of the museum experience.
Malta at War Museum Today
The museum displays a rich and varied collection of period artefacts and memorabilia ranging from medals, uniforms, personal items, documents, and weaponry. Through the numerous period newsreels and sounds, visitors can be immersed into the everyday world that the Maltese would have experienced during the war.
The museum also displays the first ever documentary to be made on the island, entitled ‘Malta G.C.’ It was released on the initiative of King George VI, who wanted his subjects to witness the difficult circumstances that Malta had bravely endured; so bravely, in fact, that the country received the George Cross.
The film is narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier and features the specially composed ‘Malta Suite’, and documents Italy’s entry into the war in 1940 until the lifting of the siege in 1942.
The museum was renovated and expanded between September 2011 and April 2012. Multilingual audio guides are available, and the museum is open from 10.00 – 17.00 from Mondays to Saturdays.
Getting to Malta at War Museum
The Malta at War Museum is reachable in around half an hour from the centre of Malta, primarily along Route 7. There is also a frequent bus service – the 41, 42, 49, or 3, which then connects to the 42 or 182, which takes around an hour and a half.
Visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Grand Harbour in the old fortified city of Birgu, with a number of buildings and churches in the area dating from the 1570s onwards.