Melaka – Historical City

Melaka Sights
Malacca city and many other parts of the state still bear the remnants of the past, much of it preserved for history buffs to journey back more than five centuries into a glorious past. Apart from evidence of the Portuguese and Dutch occupations, there is Malaysia’s oldest mosque and the first temple built in the Peninsula by the Chinese – proof that Malacca was the gateway for pioneering seafarers and merchants to the country as well as it’s cradle of history.

Christ Church
Built in 1753, the church’s handmade pews and beams were constructed without joints, reflecting fine Dutch architecture. The brass Bible rest has an inscription of the first verse of St. John. The tombstones on the church floor are written in Armenian Script with “Last Supper” in glazed tiles.

The Stadthuys, the official residence of the Dutch Governors was built in 1650. Situated right in the middle of Malacca town, it is a example of Dutch masonry and superb woodwork skills. Preserved in its original structure, it now houses the Historical Museum and Ethnography Museum. On display are traditional bridal costumes and authentic relics from it’s glorious days. Because of it’s unique structure and historical significance, it is a popular spot for photography, especially the clock tower and the fountain in front of the building. The fountain itself was dedicated to Queen Victoria by the people of Malaya in 1904.

St. Paul’s Church
Known as “Our Lady of The Hill” by the Portuguese, the chapel was built by Duarte Coelho in 1521 and renamed “St. Paul’s Church” by the Dutch. Once used as a burial ground for their noble dead, the tombstones have Latin and Portuguese inscriptions on them. St. Francis Xavier was buried here in 1553 before his body was moved to Goa in India.

Formosa Fortress
Once a strong fortress built in 1511 by the Portuguese known as “A Famosa”, it was damaged during the Dutch invasion. Repaired by the Dutch in 1670, they embossed the “VOC” crest on it. In 1808, Sir Stamford Raffles saved the fort from destruction and the gateway still stands today.

Jonker Street
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 world wide among famous antique collectors as on of the best places to hunt and bargain for antique.

Tranquerah Mosque
Architecturally, this mosque is very unique. Instead of minarets, a pagoda has been built in its place. The mosque itself is somewhat pyramid-shaped instead of dome-shaped as in Moorish type mosques. Here then, is evidence that Islam has had a place in Malacca for more than 600 years. Within the grounds of this mosque lies the tomb of Sultan Hussain of Johor who signed the cessation of Singapore with Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819.

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
One of the oldest Chinese temples in the country, built in 1646. Materials for the construction of the temple were all brought in from China. The wooden carvings, lacquer work and mythological figurines at the temple are a sight to behold.

Hang Li Poh’s Well
This well, found at the foot of Bukit China, dates back to 1459 and was constructed by the followers of Princess Hang Li Poh. The well was enclosed with stout walls by the Dutch in 1677 after they conquered Malacca. The well itself, in days of old, was the main source of water for much of the town and has never dried up even during droughts. Today, the well has been converted into a wishing well and it is widely believed that anyone who throws a coin into the well is destined one day to return to Malacca!