MALACCA - The Birth Place of The Nation

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Brief Background

 

Malacca is possibly Malaysia’s most famous destination worldwide. Located 150 km south of Kuala Lumpur and has been declared a historical city, it is one of the oldest towns in the country rich in history and culture. Colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British, they have each in turn left their mark in the architecture of the various historical buildings that still stand to this day.

 

Places of Interest

 

Historical Malacca has a lot to offer if one takes a walk through the old shop houses. It is an interesting experience where you can see buildings with five-foot ways and open-air courtyards allowing one a glimpse of the lifestyle of the Chinese Nyonyas and Babas (descendents of the first Chinese settlers in Malacca more than 500 years ago). It is natural that many fine antiques are available from the many shops in Malacca and may be very worthwhile browsing through.

 

A Famosa (PortaDe Santiago) is the only gateway left of the old Portuguese fortress; the walls were demolished by the British in 1807 when they occupied the then Dutch settlement.

 

The Portuguese Square at UjongPasir, approximately 3 km from the town centre was established as a venue for demonstrating Portuguese dances, cultural activities and festivals.

 

The Stadhuys and the MalaccaMuseum are the oldest Dutch buildings in the East dating back to 1641 and 1660. The buildings are solid testimonies to Dutch masonry and woodwork skills, with heavy, hard wooden doors, thick masonry walls and wrought iron hinges. The MalaccaMuseum exhibits the state’s rich history with the authentic relics of the Portuguese, Dutch and also the traditional bridal costumes of the Chinese and Malays.

 

St Paul’s Church was built by the Portuguese in 1521 and was originally known as Duarte Coelho but renamed “St Paul’s” by the Dutch. When the Dutch completed the ChristChurch in 1753, they made St. Paul’s Hill into a burial ground for their noble dead. The open grave inside St. Paul’s is where St. Francis Xavier was once buried in 1553 before his body was moved to Goa in India.

 

Tranquerah Mosque is architecturally unique with pagoda-style minarets and a pyramid-shaped roof rather than dome-shaped as in Moorish type mosques.

 

St.Peter’s Church was built in 1710, with a blend of Oriental and Occidental architectural styles. This is the only church in Malaysia which contains a lifesize alabaster statue of “The Dead Lord Before the Resurrection”.

 

ChristChurch is a fine example of Dutch architecture, completed in 1753 where ceiling beams were cut from one single tree and have no joints at all. The handmade pews are originals dating back over 200 years.

 

ChengHoonTengTemple is the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia, founded in 1646. The main altar houses the “Goddess of Mercy” and the left altar sits the “Queen of Heaven”, the special guardian of fishermen and voyagers of the high seas. The wood carvings and lacquer work are impressive to behold.

 

Baba Nyonya Heritage is the first private museum (managed by the Straits-born Chinese known as Peranakan) where artifacts of the Babas and Nyonyas heritage are on display for the public.

 

Jonker Street or Jalan Hang Jebat is the place to visit for antique shopping and is known throughout the world by some of the best antique collectors. Authentic artifacts dating back nearly 300 years can be purchased at very reasonable prices.

 

Ayer Keroh is the place where visitor can relax within a splendid green environment, and view rich untouched tropical forests and indulge in refreshing activities such as trekking, camping and picnicking. Huts and chalets are available for rental. The scenic lake offers various water sports recreational activities while the country club has one of Asia’s best 18-hole golf courses.

 

PulauBesar is located in the Straits of Malacca, its shady beaches provide ample opportunities for swimming, fishing, picnicking, camping and snorkeling.

 

Sourced: Tourism Malaysia