Melaka is a charming, fascinating city which is rich in its history with extraordinary blend of many cultures, from across the world. Bestowed as one of the UNESCO world heritage sites, Melaka has numerous architectural landmarks inherited from decades of colonisation by the Portuguese, Dutch, British and Chinese.
Melaka began as the Melaka Sultanate with its roots from Sumatera. It became one of the most important trading ports of the region. The Arabs, British Chinese, Dutch, Indians, Japanese and Portuguese traders have left their imprints on Melakan culture. This unique mélange of culture from the East and the West produced distinctive communities such as the Peranakan, the Chitty and those of Portuguese descent.
Situated on the south-western coast of the Malay Peninsula, Melaka is one of the fourteen states of Malaysia. It lies 148 km south of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia and 245 km north of Singapore and commands a central position on the Straits of Melaka. The state capital, Melaka Town, is strategically located between the two national capitals of Malaysia and Singapore, and connected with excellent roads and highways.
A’ Famosa Fort or Porta De Santiago
A’ Famosa Fort or Porta De SantiagoThe Portuguese colonized Melaka from 1511 to 1641. The first thing they did was to build a fort overlooking the river, calling it A'Famosa. The A'Famosa fort was a crucial structure used by the Portuguese to maintain its colonial foothold in the Far East.
Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum
Baba Nyonya Heritage MuseumThe 'Straits Chinese', also called ‘Baba and Nyonya’, are Chinese of noble descent who have adopted the Malay culture into theirs upon settling in Melaka. This has been a gradual process lasting over 400 years since the great Chinese explorer Admiral Cheng Ho first brought Chinese traders to Melaka. Over the centuries, Baba Nyonya have developed a distinct and fascinating culture that is unique to Malaysia's west coast, particularly Melaka.
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
Cheng Hoon Teng TempleAnother well preserved building, the Cheng Hoon Teng temple was constructed in 1645 and is believed to be the oldest Chinese temple in the country. The eaves of the temple are decorated with mythological figures and animation made from broken glass and porcelain. The intricate wood carvings and lacquer work are a study in ancient Chinese architecture.
Christ Church Malacca
Christ Church MalaccaChrist Church, located in Dutch Square, is the oldest Protestant church in Malaysia. A legacy of the Dutch era, Christ Church was built in the 18th century with bricks which was specially brought in from Zeeland in Holland. The porch and vestry were added a hundred years after the initial church hall was completed.
Hang Jebat Mausoleum
Hang Jebat MausoleumHang Jebat mausoleum is an old Malay grave at Jalan Kampung Kuli. It is said to belong to a Malay warrior from the time of the Melaka Sultanate. According to the Malay Histories, Hang Jebat was the champion of justice who died a tragic death at the hands of a friend he supported. He was one of the five great warriors during the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah (1456-1477) among others i.e Hang Tuah, Hang Kasturi, Hang Lekiu and Hang Lekir.
Jonker WalkA heaven for antique collectors and bargain hunters. Jonker Walk is located on Jonker Street, which is Melaka’s most famous street market. It offers everything from mouth-watering local food and snacks to unique novelty items as well as authentic artifacts and relics, some dating as far back as 300 years.
Maritime MuseumThe Maritime Museum or the Flora de Lamar is a replica of the Portuguese ship which sank in the coast of Melaka while on its way to Portugal. The replica is a staggering 34 meters in height and 8 meters in width. The main focus of the museum is the maritime history of Melaka and the golden ages of Melaka’s Sultanate as the Emporium of the East.
Masjid TranquerahThe Tranquerah Mosque is a Sumatran-style building with a three-tiered wooden roof. It is one of the few mosques with a pagoda instead of a minaret. Alongside it is the tomb of Sultan Hussain Shah, the ruler of the territories of Johor and Singapore in the early 19th century. Sultan Hussain Shah is famous (or perhaps infamous) for agreeing to sell Singapore to Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819.
Melaka Sultanate Palace
Melaka Sultanate PalaceThe Melaka Sultanate Palace is a life-sized replica of the structure for Sultan Mansur Shah's palace. The plans of the palace are based on ancient records found in the Malay Chronicles. The Melaka Sultanate Palace is one of its’ kind in Malaysia as it offers a rare glimpse of an ancient Malay kingdom which once flourished in Melaka.
Proclamation of Independence Memorial
Proclamation of Independence MemorialThe Proclamation of Independence Memorial is the site where the independence of the Malaya was proclaimed. It is located in the Malacca Club, a gold-domed building built in 1912 and renovated in 1985 to house exhibits related to the country's struggle towards independence. Also on display are memorabilia and records related to the early history of the Malay Sultanate.
Queen Victoria’s Fountain
Queen Victoria’s FountainThe Queen Victoria Fountain was built in 1901 by the British and is still standing tall and elegant to this very day. Although more than a hundred years old, this fountain still functions well and is probably the only functioning colonial water fountain in Malaysia.
Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple
Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi TempleBuilt in 1781 on land donated by Kapitan Thaivanayagam Chitty, this Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Vinayagar (also known as Ganesha), an elephant-headed God with body of a man and four hands. Lord Vinayagar is a deity revered for his wisdom and ability to remove obstacle so one could accomplish one’s desire or goal.
StadthuysThis massive red Dutch colonial building is built between 1641 and 1660 and believed to be the oldest Dutch building in the East. Since its completion till 1980, it’s been used as the administrative center for successive governments over a period of 300 years. In 1982, it was converted into a historical museum to exhibit Melaka's history starting from the great Malay Sultanate and the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonization till the present day.
St. Paul’s Church
St. Paul’s ChurchSt. Paul's Church was built by Duarte Coelho, a Portuguese Captain in 1521 AD. Formerly named as ‘Nosa Senhora’, a Portuguese Chapel which means Our Lady of the Hill, the remains of the church now in ruins, still stands as a reminder to the once magnificent piece of architecture at that time.
St. John's Fort
St. John's FortSt. John's Fort was constructed by the Dutch in the 18th century and was once a private chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist. Interesting features are the cannons in the fort which are facing inland instead of towards the sea. The view from the top of the hill is famous for its tropical sunset against the superb landscape of Melaka town.
St.Francis Xavier Church
St.Francis Xavier ChurchBuilt in 1856, in honour of St. Francis Xavier, a prominent 16th-century Catholic missionary, this twin-spired neo-gothic structure was built on the site of an old Portuguese church by a French priest, Father Farvé and the church’s finishing touches were completed in 1859 by Father Allard, with the present-day presbytery built in 1874.
Taming Sari Revolving Tower