Fort St Elmo

sights / Military

Fort St Elmo information

Lonely Planet review

Guarding the entrance to both Marsamxett and Grand Harbours is Fort St Elmo, named after the patron saint of mariners. Although now much altered and extended, this was the fort that bore the brunt of Turkish arms during the Great Siege of 1565. It was built by the Knights in 1552 to guard the entrances to the harbours on either side of the Sceberras Peninsula. The courtyard outside the entrance to the fort is studded with the lids of underground granaries.

It's pitched for renovation, but is currently home to Malta's police academy and is open to the public only for historical reenactments, held at 11am on most Sunday mornings except from mid-July to late September. In Guardia is a colourful and photogenic military pageant in 16th-century costume, which includes a cannon-firing demonstration. Alarme! is a reenactment of a military encounter between French and Maltese troops. Check upcoming dates at the tourist office.