Malaysia / Malacca

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Malaysia / Malacca / The State

Map of Malacca State
Photo: Map of Malacca

Located on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, about 14 kilometers south of Kuala Lumpur, is a state hailed by historians as the place where Malaysia's rich history can be traced. Malacca spans 1, 658 sg. km., and is divided into three main districts, Central Malacca, Alor Gajah and Jasin.

It was founded by exiled prince from Sumatra, Parameswara, in 1400. It thrived as a port-of-call to many a ship and merchant from China, India, Arab and South America. In 1511 it fell to the hands of the Portuguese followed by the Dutch in 1641 after fierce battle. In 1795 Malacca was given to the British to prevent it falling to the French when the Netherlands was captured during the French Revolution. It was returned to the Dutch in 1818 under the Treaty of Vienna but was later exchanged by the British for Bencoleen, Sumatra. From 1826 onwards it was ruled by English East India Company in Calcutta together with Singapore and Penang under Straits Settlement administration. After World War II, anti-colonial sentiment bred in the country among the nationalists, the result of which the proclamation of Independence by his Highness Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, Malaysia's first Prime Minister, at the Padang Pahlawan (Warrior's Field) at Bandar Hilir, Malacca on 20th February 1956.

Malacca boasts a legacy of history and charm only a rare few places on Earth are bestowed with. It resembles a compact living museum - filled with an intriguing mix of its inhabitants - Malays, Chinese, Indians, Straits-born Chinese and Portuguese descendants.

Here, remnants of the past sit unperturbed by a city that races towards the future.

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Malaysia / Malacca / The Stadthuys

The Stadthuys
Photo: The Stadthuys

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 Historical and Ethnography Museum. On display daily are fine traditional bridal costumes and relics from Malacca's glorious past.

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Malaysia / Malacca / Porta de Santiago (A Famosa)

Porta de Santiago (A Famosa)
Photo: Porta de Santiago(A Famosa)

The hallmark of Malacca and perhaps the most photographed subject next to the Stadthuys. Built by the Portuguese in 1511 as a fortress it sustained severe structural damage during the Dutch invasion.

The Dutch had set to destroy in but timely intervention by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1808 saved what remains of A Famosa today.

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Malaysia/ Malacca / Christ Church

Christ Church
Photo: Christ Church

Standing exactly as it has always been since 1753, the church is testimony to Dutch's architectural ingenuity.

Take note of the church's handmade pews, ceiling beams constructed without joints, Brass Bible, tombstone written in Armenian and 'Last Supper' in glazed tiles.

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Malaysia / Malacca / Dutch Graveyard

Dutch Graveyard
Photo: Dutch Graveyard

A war memorial dedicated to fine British officers and soldiers died in Naning War (1831-32).

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Malaysia / Malacca / St. Paul's Church

St. Paul's Church
Photo: The ruins of 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 nobel dead and renamed it 'St. Paul's Church' from the Portuguese's "Our Lady Of The Hill."

St. Francis Xavier was briefly enshrined in the open grave in 1553 before being shipped to Goa, India.

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Malaysia / Malacca / Proclamation of Independence Memorial

Proclamation of Independence Memorial
Photo: The Proclamation of Independence Memorial Building

Built in 1912, the former the club house of Malacca Club now houses invaluable exhibits of the country's struggle leading to the independence.

Exhibits are in the form of relics, manuscripts, video tapes, films and slides.

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Malaysia / Malacca / St. Peter's Church

St. Peter's Church
Photo: St. Peter's Church

The oldest Christian church in Malaysia where services are still held. The main feature is a life-size alabaster statue of the Dead Lord Before the Resurrection.

Built by the Portuguese in 1710, the interior of this church relfects a unique blend of Eastern and Western architecture.

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Malaysia / Malacca / Sri Poyyatha Vinagar Moorthi Temple

Sri Poyyatha Vinagar Moorthi Temple
Photo: Sri Poyyatha Vinagar Moorthi Temple

One of the first Hindu temples built in the country at the turn of the century. It was built on the plot given by the Dutch.

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Malaysia / Malacca / Kampong Kling Mosque

Kampong Kling Mosque
Photo: Kampong Kling 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.

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Malaysia / Malacca / Attractions / Tranquerah Mosque

Tranquerah Mosque
Photo: 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 cession of Singapore with Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819.

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Malaysia / Malacca / Hang Kasturi's Mausoleum

Hang Kasturi's Mausoleum
Photo: Hang Kasturi's Mausoleum

Hang Kastori studied 'silat' (Malay martial art) under the same tutelage as Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Hang Lekir and Hang Lekiu. He became on 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.

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Malaysia / Malacca / Cheng Hoon Teng Temple

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
Photo: Cheng Hoon Teng Temple

The oldest Chinese temple in the country. It was built in 1646 with materials shipped out of China.

Fine workmanship is evident in the ornately decorated mythological figures, carvings, and lacquer work inside the temple.

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Malaysia / Malacca / Pulao Besar

A haven for holiday makers seeking exclusive right to sandy beaches, clear blue water, the sun and sea front chalets on stilts.

The island is an excellent resort for swimming, fishing, picnicking and snorkeling.