Built in 1511, The A Famosa is the oldest surviving European architecture in Malaysia . Its name means ‘Famous’ in Portuguese. The once-might fortress protected the spice trade route between Portugal and the rest of Asia. It was taken over by the Dutch in 1641 and given to the British in 1641. The English would have demolished the entire structure had it not been for the timely intervention of Stamford Raffles, a famous British governor who recognized its historical significance. All that remains is some foundation stones, some cannons and a tiny gate – the Porta de Santiago but the place still makes for some great, historical visiting.
St. Paul's ChurchBuilt by a Portuguese Captain by the name of Duarte Coelho, the chapel was turned into a burial ground for their noble dead and renamed it 'St. Paul's Church' from the Portuguese's 'Our Lady Of The Hill'. Saint Francis Xavier was briefly enshrined in the open grave in 1553 before being shipped to Goa, India.
Built in 1650, the Stadhuys is one of Malacca’s most recognisable landmarks .It acted as the official residence of Dutch Governors and their officers, the edifice is an example of Dutch architecture. Preserved in its original structure and form, it now houses the History Museum and Ethnography Museum.
Built in 1753 by the Dutch to commemorate a century of their rule and took 12 years to complete. Christ Church is testimony to Dutch architectural ingenuity with its 200 years old handmade pews, its 8 feet long ceiling beams constructed without joints, Brass Bible rest which dates back to 1773, tombstone written in Armenian and 'Last Supper' in glazed tiles.
St. Fancis Xavier's Church
Built in 1849, by Reverend Farve, a Frenchman, who later became Professor of Malay in Paris. It stands on the site of an earlier Portuguese church built in 1553. The Gothic twin towered church is dedicated to St. Francis Xavier known as the ‘Apostle of the East’ is well-remembered for his missionary work spreading Catholicism to South East Asia in the 16th Century.
The Baba and Nyonya Heritage
"Straits Chinese" or the Baba and Nyonya are Chinese of noble descendants who have adopted much of the Malay culture into theirs. The public can now view the heirloom unique to this heritage at the private museum run by the Babas and Nyonyas of Melaka.
A definite haven for antique collectors and bargain hunters. Authentic artifacts and relics, some dating as far back as 300 years, can be found among a host of interesting collectibles, each with its own history, and mystery. Jalan Hang Jebat, formerly known as Jonker Street, is known worldwide among famous antique collectors as one of the best places to hunt and bargain for antiques.
Kampong Kling Mosque
Built in 1748, Kampung Kling Mosques is one of the oldest mosques in Malacca which boasts a unique Sumatran architecture. Instead of a conventional dome, a 3-tier pyramidal roof is in place. A minaret peculiar in shape from a typical Moorish style, is structured like a pagoda, potraying a mixture of East-West architectural influence
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
Built in 1646, with materials shipped out of China is the oldest Chinese temple in the country. Fine workmanship is evident in the ornately decorated mythological figures, carvings, and lacquer work inside the temple. It is recognized as one of the finest Chinese temples in Malaysia – even receiving a UNESCO award for outstanding architectural restoration
Kampong Hulu Mosque
Built in 1728 by Dato Shamsudin, the Kampong Hulu Mosque with its unique architectural style, is the oldest mosque in Malaysia.
Built in 1710, the church is currently the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Malacca. There is also a bell tower which dates all the way back to 1608 and was made in Goa, India. The church itself was built through the donations of a Dutchman who presented it to the Portuguese builders. Every year, the church becomes alive with activity during Catholic celebrations.
Sam Po Kong Temple
Dedicated to admiral Cheng Ho, the three-jeweled eunuch (Sam Po) of the Ming Dynasty who served under Emperor Yung Lo. He was born in Yunan, China and professed the Islamic faith, his father was a Kadi in Yunan, south west province of China. The statue of the admiral Cheng Ho was stolen from the temple in the 1970s. According to legend, a fish that miraculously saved the admiral's ship from sinking after it had been hit by a storm enroute to Melaka from China. The fish mysteriously placed itself in the damaged hull preventing the ship from taking in water.
Hang Li Poh Well
Built in 1459 by the followers of Hang Li Poh, the Chinese princess who married the Sultan of Malacca, the well was the only source of water supply during the great droughts. It is believed that it has never dried up even in the most extreme drought. The Dutch enclosed it with stout walls in 1677 to maintain its unique right to the well. Later, it was turned into a wishing well, which it has remained until today. It is said that those throwing coins into the well will return to Malacca over and again.
True to its nature, the museum is built in a replica of a Portuguese ship, the 'Flo De La Mar' that sank off the coast of Malacca while on the way to Portugal. Here, visitors can view dioramas and intricately crafted models of ships on board. There are detailed descriptions of Malacca history and a map that features actual charts used by Portuguese sailors centuries ago. Located near the tourist office, the Maritime Muzeum is a great place t visit to learn Malacca history.
The Portuguese Square is the centre of the small Portuguese community in Malacca, the descendants of the past Malaccan colonists. The Square feels like a little patch of Portugal with plenty of restaurants, food stalls, pubs and a mini-museum. On weekends, the square becomes a hub of activity, as the Portuguese community put up traditional dances, entertain tourists and celebrate in style their unique culture.
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