Couvre Porte

Malta at War Museum

Useful Information

Location: Couvre Porte Counterguard, Triq it-8 ta' Dicembru, Malta.
(35.885373, 14.522608)
Open: All year Mon-Sat 10-17, last entry 16.
Guided tours 10:30, 13.
Closed 01-JAN, Good Friday, Easter, 24-DEC. 25-DEC, 31-DEC.
Fee: Adults EUR 13, Children (5-15) EUR 6, Seniors EUR 11, Students EUR 11, Family (2+3) EUR 26.
Guided tours EUR 16.
Classification: SubterraneaWorld War II Bunker
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Malta at War Museum, Couvre Porte, Couvre Porte Counterguard, Triq it-8 ta' Dicembru, Malta, Tel: +356-21800992.
Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna, Tel: +356-21800992. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1940 tunnels dug.
1940-43 Fighter Sector Operations Room used during the Battle for Malta.
1945 taken over and used by the NATO to track the movement of Soviet submarines in the Mediterranean Sea.
1977 abandoned.
2015 underground war tunnels opened to the public.


The Couvre Porte is a fortified gateway structure which provided access into the city of Vittoriosa. Actually there are three gates, the Advanced Gate, the Couvre Porte, and the Gate of Provence, also known as the Main Gate. The military fortification, former army barracks, is today the home of the Malta at War Museum, which is dedicated to Malta's participation in World War II. However, the gates are not underground. The underground part is part of the museum, underground tunnels which were used as air raid shelters during World War II. They were also used as Civil Defence Centre. Visitors to the museum can put on a hard hat and visit the tunnels self-guided. There are also two guided tours daily with an additional fee.

The tunnels were built in 1940, and from this year they were used to accommodate the Combined War Headquarters of all three services. The Fighter Sector Operations Room was used during the Battle for Malta between 1940 and 1943. Vittoriosa was one of the three most bombed cities on Malta during World War II, the others were Cospicua and Senglea. At the end of the war, the structure was taken over by the NATO to track the movement of Soviet submarines in the Mediterranean Sea.