The Historical City of Malacca or Melaka as it is locally
known or sometimes malaka, is the second smallest state after
Perlis in Malaysia. The state of Melaka covers an area of 1,650-sq.
km. with a population of approximately three quarter of a million,
consisting the predominant Malays, followed by the Chinese,
Indians, Portuguese descendants, Straits-born Chinese and Eurasians.
The state is divided into 3 districts namely Melaka Tengah,
Alor Gajah and Jasin. Malacca is located about 148 km. south
of Kuala Lumpur and 245 km north of Singapore and commanding
a central position on the Straits of Malacca. Malacca City which
is strategically located between the two capital is linked with
excellent roads and highways, Malacca has no train station and
the nearest one is located in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. It has
an airport located at Batu Berendam about 8 km away. The City
Of Malacca has twin city status with five cities in the world
namely, Lisbon, Portugal (16 January 1984), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
(15 April 1989), Hoorn, Netherlands (8 November 1989), Valparaiso,
The Republic of Chile (23 June 1991), and Nanjing, China (2001).
The History of Malacca
The history of Malacca is largely the story of the city for
which it is named, and the story of the city of Malacca begins
with the fascinating and partly legendary tale of the Hindu
The Malay Annals relate that Parameswara was a fourteenth-century
Palembang prince who, fleeing from a Javanese enemy, escaped
to the island of Temasik (present-day Singapore) and quickly
established himself as its king. Shortly afterward, however,
Parameswara was driven out of Temasik by an invasion by the
Siamese, and with a small band of followers set out along the
west coast of the Malay peninsula in search of a new refuge.
The refugees settled first at Muar, Johor, but they were quickly
driven away by a vast and implacable horde of monitor lizards;
the second spot chosen seemed equally unfavorable, as the fortress
that the refugees began to build fell to ruins immediately.
Parameswara moved on. Soon afterward, during a hunt near the
mouth of a river called Bertam, he saw a white mouse-deer or
pelanduk kick one of his hunting dogs. So impressed was he by
the mouse-deer's brave gesture that he decided immediately to
build a city on the spot. He asked one of his servants the name
of the tree under which he was resting and, being informed that
the tree was called a Malaka, gave that name to the city. The
year was 1400.
Although its origin is as much romance as history, the fact
is that Parameswara's new city was situated at a point of tremendous
strategic importance. Midway along the straits that linked China
to India and the Near East, Malacca was perfectly positioned
as a center for maritime trade. The city grew rapidly, and within
fifty years it had become a wealthy and powerful hub of international
commerce, with a population of over 50,000. It was during this
period of Malacca's history that Islam was introduced to the
Malay world, arriving along with Gujarati traders from western
India. By the first decade of the sixteenth century Malacca
was a bustling, cosmopolitan port, attracting hundreds of ships
each year. The city was known worldwide as a center for the
trade of silk and porcelain from China; textiles from Gujarat
in India; camphor from Borneo; sandalwood from Timor; nutmeg,
mace, and cloves from the Moluccas, gold and pepper from Sumatra;
and tin from western Malaya.
Unfortunately, this fame arrived at just the moment when Europe
began to extend its power into the East, and Malacca was one
of the very first cities to attract its covetous eye. The Portuguese
under the command of Afonso de Albuquerque arrived first, taking
the city after a sustained bombardment in 1511. The Sultan Mahmud
fled to Johor, from whence the Malays counterattacked the Portuguese
repeatedly though without success. One reason for the strength
of the Portuguese defence was the construction of the massive
fortification of A Famosa or Porta De Santiago, only a small
portion of which survives today.
A Famosa ensured Portuguese control of the city for the next
one hundred and fifty years, until, in 1641, the Dutch after
an eight-month siege and a fierce battle. Malacca was captured,
but it lay in almost complete ruin. Over the next century and
a half, the Dutch rebuilt the city and occupied it largely as
a military base, using its strategic location to control the
Straits of Malacca. In 1795, when the Netherlands was captured
by French Revolutionary armies, Malacca was handed over to the
British by the Dutch to avoid capture by the French. Although
they returned the city to the Dutch in 1808, it was soon given
over to the British once again in a trade for Bencoleen, Sumatra.
From 1826, the English East India Company in Calcutta ruled
the city, although it experienced Japanese occupation from 1942
to 1945. Independence did not arrive until 1957, when anti-colonial
sentiment culminated in a proclamation of independence by His
Highness Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, Malaysia's first Prime
Historical & Places of Interest in Malacca
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.
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.
Hang Jebat and Hang Kasturi's mausoleum.
Two of the Malacca Sultanate's well-known warriors and champion
of justice. Hang Jebat was unceremoniously killed by Hang Tuah
in a duel of honour that lasted 3 days and 3 nights. He was
killed in the name of justice to avenge the sultan's hasty punishment
against Hang Jebat for a crime he did not commit.
Hang Tuah's well is located in Kampung Duyong
where Hang Tuah was born and spent his childhood among four
of his good friends who would later become the famous warriors
of Malacca Sultanate.
Sam Po Kong Temple was constructed in dedication
to Admiral Cheng Ho. The temple was named after a fish that
miraculously saved the admiral's ship from sinking after it
had been hit by a storm enroute to Malacca from China. The fish
mysteriously placed itself against a damaged hull preventing
the ship from taking on water.
St. Francis Xavier's Church
was built in 1849 by a frenchman, Reverend Farve. The Gothic
towered church is dedicated to St. Francis Xavier, well-remembered
for his missionary work spreading Catholicism to South East
Asia in the 16th century.
St. John's Fort
was 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 land instead of from the sea.
St. Peter's Church
was built in 1710 by the
Portuguese descendants and comprising an architectural mix of
the Oriental and Occidental. 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.
a war memorial dedicated to
fine British officers and soldiers who died in the Naning War
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.
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
, 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
Hang Li Poh Well
, 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.
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.
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.
, constructed during the Portuguese
Occupancy Masjid Peringgit is believed to be the oldest mosque
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.
: 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.
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.
The Monastery was destroyed by the Achinese in 1629 when they
The Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum,
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.
in Jalan Gajah Berang is a
Hindu community whose ancestors came to Malacca during the 15th
the Museum was 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
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.
Hang Kasturi's Mausoleum,
a mausoleum built
in memory of the great Malay Hero Hang Kasturi.
Al Azim Mosque
, is a state mosque located
at Bukit Palah, 2 km from Malacca city.
Kampung Hulu Mosque,
built in 1728 by Dato
Shamsudin during the Dutch ocupancy.
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
The Ruins of the Church of Rosary :
Ermida do Rosario" or "The Church of Rosary"
was a Portuguese chapel, build about 1700. 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.
Other Places of Interest and activities found in Malacca includes
Portuguese Square, Independence Obelisk, Proclamation
Of Independence Memorial, built in 1912, The Malacca Zoo, A'Famosa
Water World, Light and Sound Display, Jasin's Museum, River
Boat Cruise, Hawksbill turtle (Pulau Upeh), Peacock Paradise
Bird Park, Alor Gajah's Museum, Bullock Cart Ride, Butterfly
Farm, Auyin Hill Resort, Mini Malaysia, Mini ASEAN, Recreational
Forest, Crocodile Farm, Dol Said Grave, Gadek Hot Spring, Dutch
Fort, Hang Tuah's Mausoleum, Pulau Besar, Tun Teja's Mausoleum,
Malacca Traditional House, Cape Rachado, the Trishaw Ride, grilled
fish spot at Serkam and Pengkalan Pernu(Umbai) some 15 Km. and
10 km. respectively from Malacca,
Beaches and Islands around Malacca: Tanjong Kling: 15 km north
of Malacca town, Tanjung Bidara: 35 km north or Malacca town,
Pulau Besar: 4 km from Malacca. To get to the island, take a
bus or a taxi to Umbai Jetty. Boats leave hourly to the island.
Accommodation is available on the island.
Accommodation facilities available for the state of Malacca
includes Riviera Bay Resort Malacca, Century Mahkota Hotel Malacca,
Hotel Malacca Klebang Beach Resort, Naza Hotel Malacca and Semabok
Getting To Malacca
If you are in West Malaysia, the best way to travel to Malacca
is by road via the North-SouthHighway
from the KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) takes only
a mere 90 minutes. If you are travelling from K.L., the journey
is about 2 hours. From Johor Bahru heading north, it's only
2 1/2 hours away.
Interstate Coaches from Kuala Lumpur to Seremban.
Malaysia Hotels Dot CC, brings
you some of the best hotels in the state of Malacca. We bring
to you Riviera Bay Resort Malacca, Century Mahkota Hotel Malacca,
Hotel Malacca Klebang Beach Resort, Naza Hotel Malacca and Semabok
Inn Melaka. We present them here comprehensively with factual
information on all our participating hotels and resorts in the
state of Malacca.
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