MALACCA'S HISTORICAL PLACE

The Cultural Melting Pot


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A Famosa

The hallmark of Malacca and perhaps the most photographed subject next to the Stadhuys. Built by the Portuguese in 1511 as a fortress it sustained severe structural damage during the Dutch Invasion. The British East India Company had set to destroy it but timely intervention by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1808 saved what remains of A Famosa today.

St. Francis 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 is well-remembered for his missionary work spreading Catholicism to South East Asia in the 16th Century..

The Stadhuys

Built in 1650 as the official residence of Dutch Governors and their officers, the edifice is a fine example of Dutch architecture. Preserved in its original structure and form , it now houses the Historic Museum and Ethnography Museum. On display daily are fine traditional bridal costumes and relics from Malacca's glorious past.

Independence Obelisk

Located in Padang Pahlawan, the obelisk with the alphabet "M" which stands for Merdeka which means Independence signifies the place where the last British Resident Commissioner of Malacca, H.G. Hammet handed over the instrument of independence to the first local Governor of Malacca, Tun Leong Yew Koh, on 31st August 1957. On this very field with more than 50,000 locals welcomed Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj(the first Prime Minister) and his entourage on the 20th February 1956 on their return from England after successfully negotiating for Independance from the British. In this field the joyous shouts of "Merdeka" was heard and holding a banner "Dibawah runtuhan Kota Melaka kita dirikan negara baru" which means "Within the ruins of the Fort of Malacca we form a new nation". One and a half years later the triumphant shouts of "Merdeka" were heard again in the Federal Capital, Kuala Lumpur..

Portuguese Cross (City Cross)

Located near Padang Pahlawan, the iron cross was erected in 1954 by the Malacca Historical Society to replace an earlier cross made from wood. The site is the location of the legendary "St Francis Xavier's Rock". Legends says that St. Francis Xavier first set foot on this rock before landing in Melaka. Before the area was reclaimed, the rock was never covered by the sea during high tide. Portuguese historian Emanuel Godinho de Eredia drawings in 1613 attest to the location of the cross.

St. Paul's Church

Built by a Portuguese Captain by the name of Duarte Coelho, the chapel was turned by the Dutch 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.

Dutch Graveyard

Presently, 5 Dutch and 33 British graves are sited within its compound. This cemetery was used in two stages that is between 1670-1682 and later between 1818-1838. The grave with the tall column on it belongs to two British army officers who were killed during the Naning War (1831-1832)

Christ Church

Standing exactly as it has always been since 1753, the church is testimony to Dutch architectural ingenuity. Commenced in 1741 to commemorate a century of Dutch rule and took 12 years to complete. Take note of the church's 200 years old handmade pews, its 8 feet long ceiling beams constructed from a single tree without joins, Brass Bible rest which dates back to 1773, tombstone written in Armenian and 'Last Super' in glazed tiles.

St. Peter's Church

The oldest functioning Catholic church in Malaysia. Built in 1710 by the Portuguese descendants and comprising an architectural mix of the Oriental and Occidental. This church was build during the Dutch period and it is situated outside the administrative and trading centre of old Dutch Malacca. This is the only church in Malaysia that contains the life-size alabaster statue of the Dead Lord Before The Resurrection. There is a bell in the belfry dated 1608 manufactured in Goa, India which was taken from one of the churches that was burnt by the Dutch.

The Ruins of the Church of Rosary

"The Ermida do Rosario" or "The Church of Rosary" was a Portuguese chapel, build about 1700, on a site a few yards to the left of the river's path, close to where the former Federal cinema in Jalan Bunga Raya. This church was built after the erection of St Peter's church located nearby and was in use until the end of the 19th century when it was abandoned. Prior to 1700 the Portuguese had built on this same site, the "Parish Church of St Lawrence", which according to Malacca Historian, Manual Godinho of Eredia, had in 1613, as many as 1,700 parishioners. This church was either destroyed or allowed to fall into ruins during the first decade of the Dutch occupation.

Proclamation Of Independence Memorial

Built in 1912, the former club house of Malacca Club now houses invaluable exhibits of the country's struggle leading to the independence. The exhibits are in the form of relics, manuscripts, video tapes, film and slides.

Malacca's Sultanate Palace

Built based on the description and reference to the palace in 'Sejarah Melayu(the Malay Annals), the wooden replica houses the Cultural Museum of Malacca. Situated at the foot of St. Paul 's Hill, it is the only Malay palace from Malacca's glorious past of the sultanate era built with such detail and refinement.

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 worldwide among famous antique collectors as one of the best places to hunt and bargain for antiques. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 6.00 p.m. to midnight this street is turn into a pedestrian mall. You can see and buy all kinds of curios, local food, and handicfrafts.

St. John's Fort

Rebuilt by the Dutch during the third quarter of the 18 th century, the fort was once a private Portuguese chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The fort has an interesting feature in that its gun embrasures face inland as during that time, attacks on Malacca came mainly from the hinterland instead of from the sea.

Hang Li Poh Well (Perigi Raja)

Built in 1459 by the followers of Hang Li Poh, the Chinese princess who married the Sultan of Malacca. Situated at the foot of Bukit China it is the oldest well in Malacca. The well never dried up during days of old and was the only source of water supply during great droughts.

In 1511, after the siege of Malacca by Alauddin Shah, the Sultan of Johor, who leagued with the Sultans of Perak and Pahang and the Queen of Java, the Javanese, before leaving, poisoned the Perigi Raja so that the inhabitants having drunk of its water, fell victim to the terrible outbreak of plague. According to Diogo de Couto, the great Portuguese historian 12 to 15 Portuguese were buried every day. More than 200 of them died as well as a great number of natives.. The Dutch enclosed it with stout walls in 1677 to maintain its ultimate right to the well. It has now turn into a wishing well.

Hang Jebat's Mausoleum

Hang Jebat the champion of justice who died a tragic death. Hang Tuah in a duel of honour that lasted 3 days and 3 nights unceremoniously killed him. He runs amuck after suffering a fatal wound from Hang Tuah's dagger, 'Keris Taming Sari'. In the name of justice to avenge the sultan's hasty the punishment against Hang Tuah for a crime he didn't commit, Hang Jebat was accused by Hang Tuah of 'durhaka' (contumacy).

Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple

It is one of the first Hindu temple in Malaysia. Built in 1781 on the plot given by the Dutch. The central alter is dedicated to Vinayagar, represented by an elephant's head carved from Indian black stone. Lord Vinayagar is the Indian diety believed to be capable of removing all obstacles and take the form of a human body with four hands and an elephant's head, with a rat at his feet. Another alter is the Lord Muruga the younger brother of Lord Vinayagar..

Peringgit Mosque

Constructed during the Portuguese Occupancy Masjid Peringgit is believed to be the oldest mosque in Melaka. During the Portuguese period, the local Malays relocated to Kampung Peringgit where they built the mosque. When Melaka fell into the hands of the Dutch. The Malays were persuaded to move back into Melaka town where they built another mosque, the Masjid Kampung Hulu.

Kampung Kling's Mosque

One of the oldest mosques in the country with Sumatran architectural features. Instead of a conventional dome, a three-tier roof rising like a pyramid is in place. A minaret peculiar in shape from a typical Moorish style is structured like a Pagoda portraying the mixture of East- West architectural influence. Its beautifully carved wooden ceiling is supported by elegant Corinthian - style columns while the walls of the main prayer hall are covered with Portuguese and British glazed tiles. The word "Kling" is derived from Kallinga, the name of an empire in southern India. Located along Jalan Tukang Emas just next to the Sri Poyyatha Viayagar Moorthi Temple.

Bukit China

This is the largest Chinese burial ground outside of China. With its size of 26 hecteres with 12,500 graves and consisting of three sections, namely Bukit Tempurong, Bukit Gedong, and Bukit China. The hills of the Chinese is so named because of the historic mixed-marriage that took place in the year 1459 between Sultan Mansur Shah of Malacca and Princess Hang Li Po, the daughter of Emperor Yung Lo of the Ming Dynasty. The princess with her 500 beautiful band maids resided here in the mid-fifteenth century. The hill was finally bought over by Kapitan China Lee Wei King, the founder of the Cheng Hoon Teng from the Dutch Goverment and later donated the hill to the Chinese of Malacca for their burial ground..

Franciscan Monastery "Madre De Deus"

During the Portuguese occupation a Franciscan Monastery and a Chapel was built dedicated to "Madre de Deus" (Mother of God) on top of Bukit China It was founded in 1581 by Fr. Francisco Pisaro, an Italian Franciscan who came from Macau In his book "Viaggio d'ell China" written in 1592 he writes:- "I decided to live on the hill, a mile a away from town, in a place where the Bishop Dom Jorge de Sta Lusia had built a Chapel dedicated to the Mother of God". However, it was destroyed by the Achinese in 1629 when they attacked Malacca, the monastery was levelled to the ground by the fierce bombardment of the Achinese on the small Portuguese force which had sought sanctuary there following their retreat from St. John's hill. It was rebuilt when the Achinese were eventually defeated but was finally destroyed when the Dutch captured Malacca in 1641. The existence of this Monastery is clearly indicated in the ancient drawings and maps of Malacca in the Portuguese Chronicler, Boccaro and writings of Godinho de Eredia. In 1949, the Malacca Historical Society excavated the place and came across the foundations of the monastery. It is located to the east of the peak of Bukit China ..

"Keramat Panjang" Mausoleum

On the peak of Bukit Tempurung one of the three hills on Bukit China, in the direction of North East is the site of the Keramat Panjang Mausoleum. Among the thousands of chinese graves there exist until today a dozen of muslim graves on the top of this hill lock. It is believed that one of these graves belongs to a famous Achenese warrior known as Panglima Pidi who was killed together with his companion Syamsudin Al-Sumaratani during a failed attempt attacked against the Portuguese in the early 17th century. People around the area used to ask for divine help on this grave site but this practiced has since been discontinued. Start climbing from the side facing the Jalan Bukit Serindit and Jalan Puteri Hang Li Poh junction in the direction of South West to reach this site.

The Baba and Nyonya Heritage

'Straits Chinese' or the Baba and Nyonya , are Chinese of noble descendants that have adopted much of the Malay culture into theirs. The fusion of culture resulted in distinctives styles of architecture, language, furniture, cuisine and clothing. The heritage museum is housed in two "Baba" ancesteral homes, characterised by classical European columns and brilliantly coloured decorative tiles. On display are intricately carved fittings finished in gold leaf and the lifestyle of the "Babas".The public can now review the heirloom unique to this heritage at a private museum run by the Babas and Nyonyas of Malacca. Located at No. 48 and 50 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock..

Chetty Village

In Jalan Gajah Berang is a Hindu community whose ancestors came to Malacca during the 15th century. Before the coming of Islam, Indian traders had already settled in the little fishing villages that dotted Malacca's coastline and married local girls. The Chittys as members of the community became known, now speak exlusively Malay and English. They live in neat litle wooden houses, dress in Malay clothes and eat food prepared in the Malay style. .

Maritime Museum

The Museum is constructed after the 'Flora De La Mar', the Portuguese ship that sank off the Coast of Malacca on its way to Portugal. With its hull laden with invaluable treasures seized from Malacca, the ship was doomed from existence had it not for the efforts to Malacca's heritage.

At the museum, visitor can get a closer look at Malacca from the famed Malay Sultanate of the 14th century to the Portuguese era, the Dutch era and the British era. There are exhibits of foreign ships that had once called at the port of Malacca during the height of its maritime hegemony.

Cheng Hoon Teng's Temple

The oldest Chinese temple in the country. Cheng Hoon Teng translated as "The Abode of the Green Merciful Clouds". It was built in 1646 by Lee Wei King with materials shipped out of China. Covering 4,600 square metres with superb example of Southern Chinese architecture. Its gabled roofs, with curved ridges and eaves, are magnificently decorated with mythological figures, animals, birds and flowers in coloured glass and porcelain. Exquisite wood carvings and lacquered ralings depicat the life of the Buddha. The entrance is guarded by two lions, reminding worshippers to practice "filial piety" towards parents. The temple is dedicated to Kwan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, whose statue is enshrined in the main hall. The side halls are dedicated to Ma Choe Poh, the Queen of Heavan and protector of fishermen and sailors; the red faced Kwan Ti, god of war, patron of literature and upholder of justice; and Sui Tai, the golden faced Goddess of Wealth. In a rear hall, memorial tablets commemorate temple leaders. A carving on a stone tablet made during the sixth year reign of the Chinese Emperor Kar Keng, in 1801, stated that the temple was named Cheng Hoon (Green Cloud) because all merchants who are blessed with culminating wealth, will make a name for themselves by rising from the green earth to the pure, heavenly cloud. In 2001 major renovation and restoration to the mains halls were completed. Located in Jalan Tokong (Temple Street)..

Hang Kasturi's Mausoleum

Hang Kasturi studied 'silat' (Malay martial art) under the same tutelage as Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Hang Lekir and Hang Lekiu. He became one of the 'hulubalangs' (knights) that served Malacca together with Hang Tuah. Except for Hang Jebat, Hang Kasturi and others remained loyal to the sultan to their dying day.

Kampung Hulu Mosque

Built in 1728 by Dato Shamsudin during the Dutch ocupancy. It replaced the city's first mosque, built by the Sultan which was situated in front of the present Stadhuys and was later destroyed by the Portuguese in 1511. Only after the Dutch period in the early 1700's that mosques were again allowded to be built. It was later renovated by Wazir Al Sheikh Omar bin Hussain Al-Attas and its unique architectural style is not traceable to others in the country. Today it is one of the oldest functioning mosque in Malaysia

Tranquerah Mosque

Prominent in its architectural grandeur, the mosque is unique and bears testimony to the fact that Islam had its rightful place in Malacca almost 600 years ago. The tomb of Sultan Hussain of Johore is in the compound of the mosque. He was the ruler who signed the session of Singapore with Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819.

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