Popular historical attractions

Popular historical attractions

Christ Church, Melaka.

Example of gravestone from St Francis Xavier Church.

  • Fort A Famosa: Constructed by the Portuguese in 1511, it suffered severe structural damage during the Dutch invasion. The plan by the British to destroy it was aborted as a result of the intervention of Sir Stamford Raffles in 1808.
  • St. John’s Fort: Reconstructed by the Dutch in the third quarter of the 18th century, the cannons in this fort point inwards towards the mainland because at that time, the threat to Malacca was mainly from inland rather than the sea.
  • St. Peter’s Church: Constructed in 1710 under the Dutch administration, the church is the oldest Catholic church in Malaysia. Its facade and decorative embellishment is a mix of both eastern and western architecture. Its bell was delivered from Goa in 1608.
  • St. Paul’s Church: Constructed by the Portuguese captain, Duarte Coelho, this church was named “Our Lady of The Hill”, but was later turned into a burial ground by the Dutch for their noble dead, and renamed “St. Paul’s Church”. Currently the church is part of the Malaccan Museums Complex. The body of St. Francis Xavier was interred here temporarily before it was taken to Goa, India.
  • Christ Church: Constructed in 1753, the structure reflects original Dutch architecture. The building houses hand-crafted church benches, jointless ceiling skylights, a copper replica of the Bible, a headstone written in the Armenian language, and a replica of “The Last Supper“.
  • Francis Xavier Church: This Gothic church was built by a French priest, Rev. Fabre, in 1849, to commemorate St. Francis Xavier who is also known as the “Apostle of the East”. St. Francis Xavier is credited for his Catholic missionary work in Southeast Asia during the 16th century.
  • Stadthuys: Constructed in 1650 as the residence of the Dutch Governor and his deputy, the structure reflects Dutch architecture. It is today the “Museum of History and Ethnography“. The museum exhibits traditional wedding clothes and artifacts of Melaka, dating back to its days of glory.
  • Jonker Street (Jalan Hang Jebat): This street is famous for its antique goods. It is also famous for its carnival-like atmosphere during weekend nights.
  • Portuguese Square Perhaps the right phrase to infer strong affinity to Portugal would be ‘Mini Lisbon’. Located within the Portuguese Settlement, the square is the culmination of Portuguese culture in its full splendour and colours.
  • Cheng Hoon Teng: Oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia.

In order to attract more tourists to Malacca, the State government has built a number of museums to house its rich cultural heritage.

Eating Out / Restaurant

Eating Out / Restaurant

Melaka is well known for its food and the variety of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Baba and Nyonya as well as Portuguese food will whet your appetite. Visitors need not worry about finding food as there are many restaurants, stalls,coffee shops and cafes around.

Holiday at Malacca

Holiday at Malacca

Melaka is a city with a glorious past hidden behind each facade of the centuries-old buildings. To visit Melaka will truly offer a truly memorable experience to both domestic and international tourists, and this goes well with the Melaka State Government’s slogan “Visit Historic Melaka means Visit Malaysia”.

As one of the must-visit tourist destination place in Malaysia, Melaka is rich with its panorama of multicultural, multireligious and multiethnic heritage as well as its colourful cuisine, interesting places of interests and revered historical sites. In fact, many have said that Melaka is a microcosm of Malaysia as Melaka has it all.

And not to mention, Melaka is abuzz with its year-long calendar of events comprising cultural and recreational activities that will entertain visitors, both young and old.

This unique trait is what defines Melaka as one of the region’s most popular destination spots in the Asia-Pacific region.

Malacca History

Melaka History


Melaka is known as a historically rich state and is recognised as one which epitomised the spirit of a nation, forged through the crucible of a tumultuous and intricate history.

Melaka was founded by Parameswara (or Raja Iskandar) the last Malay ruler of Temasik (ancient Singapore) in 1396 when he and his followers retreated up the straits to Muar, then tu Sungai Ujung before settling at Bertam near the estuary of Melaka River.

Finding the place is of strategic location, he decided to make a permanent settlement there, naming it “Melaka” after the name of the tree he leaned against.

The Melaka Sultanate occupies a special position in the history of Malaysia. Its inauguration marked the beginning of the emergence of a new Malay empire. The birthplace of the Malay Sultanates and Malaysia’s historic city, Melaka provided the stage on which the Portuguese, Dutch and English played out their roles in shaping history.

Melaka emerged as a strong maritime trading state under the industrious Parameswara and his chiefs. Melaka also began to be noticed by Muslim traders from West Asia and India, who until that period, had been concentrating their activities in Aru, Pedir and Pasai en-route to the East, especially China. Because of its strategic location straddling the Straits of Melaka, it thrived as a port-of-call and a centre of entrepot trade with ships and merchants from China, Japan, India, Arab and South Africa.

In 1511, it fell to the hands of the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch in 1641 after a fierce battle. In 1795, Melaka was given to the British to prevent it falling to the French when the Netherlands was captured during the Napoleonic Wars. It was returned to the Dutch in 1818 under the treaty of Vienna but was later exchanged by the Brisith for Bangkahulu, Sumatra. From 1826 onwards, the British East India Company along with Singapore and Penang governed it, under the Straits Settlement administration in Calcutta.

The Dutch, who held Melaka for over a century, left many fine buildings marking their heritage. The most imposing relic of the Dutch period is the Stadthuys, a strikingly pink town hall which is today the oldest Dutch building in the Far East. Right next to it stands the bright red Christ Church, constructed with pink bricks imported from Holland and covered with local red lacerite. Today, these buildings together with the ruins of the Portuguese built A Famosa and St. Paul’s Church are the most prominent reminders of the Europeans’ presence in Melaka.

After World War II, anti-colonial sentiment bred in the country among the nationalists, the result of which was the proclamation of Independence by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, at the Padang Pahlawan (Warrior’s Field) at Bandar Hilir, Melaka on 20 February 1956.

ABOUT MALACCA

About Malacca


Malaysia is situated one to seven degrees north of the equator. The State of Melaka, one of the fourteen states within Malaysia, is situated on the South-Western Coast of Peninsular Malaysia facing the Straits of Melaka and sandwiched between the states of Negeri Sembilan and Johor.

Melaka covers an area of 1,658 square kilometers and is divided into three districts, namely Melaka Tengah, Alor Gajah and Jasin.

The North-South Expressway allows easy access into Melaka from all states of Malaysia. It takes about an hour and a half to travel by road from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka and approximately three hours from Singapore.

Another way to get to Melaka from Kuala Lumpur is to take a leisurely drive through the coastal and country roads passing through Klang, Morib and Port Dickson before arriving in Melaka. Those coming from Singapore can take the picturesque route passing through coastal kampungs or villages and plantations.

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