Fort Saint Elmo guards the approaches to both Grand and Marsamxett Harbors. When Knights arrived in Malta in 1530, a watchtower existed on this point. They reinforced the fort site in 533 during the outset of Great Siege. Since the mid-20th century, part of Fort Saint Elmo houses the War Museum with the rest of the fort serving as the Maltese Police Academy.
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.