The Malta at War Museum in Birgu, is undoubtedly Malta’s best presented testimonial of the great ordeal suffered by the Island during the Second World War.
The site focuses on the daily life of wartime Malta telling the story of how this spec of an island managed to withstand one of the fiercest onslaughts in modern history. It offers a unique experience to the visitor through a combination of original film-footage, expert guiding and much in the way of original artefacts and memorabilia, all of which are nicely presented in a new modern setting.
The museum is housed in an old 18thcentury military barracks built in the historic walls of Vittoriosa (Birgu). Throughout the blitz, these premises served first as a Police headquarters for the whole of the Three Cities and later combined all the essential wartime civilian services.
Right underneath, some 40 feet into the live rock is a huge maze of tunnels and galleries which doubled as an air raid shelter for scores of people, and as an underground Civil Defence centre. In its hey-day the latter was equipped with a surgery, a birth-room, a chapel and various underground offices from which work by the various wartime government bodies housed in them went on unabated...
* Explore the extensive maze of rock-hewn tunnels and galleries some 40 feet underground, once home to hundreds of islanders during the dark days of the blitz.
* Visit the overlying museum which contains an impressive collection of original memorabilia from the period.
* Watch a 30-minute original wartime movie on Malta’s role in WWII.
* Learn how the air raid shelters were laboriously excavated by hand into the live rock, at times by ordinary people using what scant primitive tools that they could lay their hands on and how people lived in them.
* Experience even if for a while the hardships of what life was like under siege
Source: Fundazzjoni Wirt Artna