"Fort St Elmo" Malta Things to Do Tip by iwys

Malta Things to Do: 753 reviews and 1,109 photos

Fort St Elmo is a massive fort at the seaward tip of Valletta. It played a key role in the history of Malta as it was the main fort from which the Knights of St. John defended the island against the invading Ottoman Turks during the Great Siege of 1565.

It was built on the Sceberras Peninsula, by the Knights in 1552, to defend the entrances to both Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour. Nowadays it houses Malta's police academy and is officially closed to the public, but the gate is always open so you can just wander inside and look around. Nobody seems to mind.

It looks a bit neglected inside (see photos) and it's not surprising that the World Monuments Fund placed the fort on its 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world because of its significant deterioration due to factors such as lack of maintenance and security, natural aging, and exposure to the elements.

Film buffs might be interested to know that Fort St Elmo was used as a location for the Turkish jail in Midnight Express.

Directions: Valletta

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 9, 2008
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