Tucked away in a former army barracks in Vittoriosa (also called Birgu), the Malta at War Museum narrates the story of Malta during the long-standing Siege of Malta of 1940-43 in World War II. Part of the fortified ‘Three Cities’ with Senglea and Cospicua, Vittoriosa was the home of the British Royal Navy until 1979 and thus was the premier target of sustained Nazi bombing during the onslaught. During the war, the barracks became the police HQ and a labyrinthine system of tunnels was carved out by hand below it to make air-raid shelters that saved the lives of hundreds of people. Together with the barracks, these now form part of the museum, which displays military uniforms, weapons and medals as well as personal testaments and news reels from the time. The mainstay of the collection is the original of the renowned propaganda movie Malta G.C., made in 1943 and narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier at the request of King George VI — who awarded the whole island the George Cross — to pay tribute to the people of Malta and the bravery they showed under constant bombardment from the Germans. Copies of the film can be bought in the museum shop.
Couvre Porte Gate, Vittoriosa. Open daily 10am–5pm. Admission adults €10; children younger than 16 €5; family ticket €25. Free with the Multi-site Heritage Pass. Ferry to Vittoriosa leaves from Lascaris Quay in Valletta every 15 minutes; the 10-minute walk to the museum is signposted.