MELAKAReal Venice of Malaysia, Melaka houses a wealth of beauty. Old city crossroads of maritime routes linking the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea, Malacca has seen a succession of Portuguese colonization, Dutch and English, cultural mix which she keeps a picturesque architectural heritage. It was founded 600 years ago by a Hindu prince who converted to Islam. Furthermore, Malacca today hosts a large Chinese population. Its Chinatown is thus one of the nicest in the country, with its pretty stylized facades and dazzling temples.
A FamosaRuins of a fortress built by the Portuguese in 1511 and could have been demolished if Sir Stamford Raffles and his passion for history had not intervened.
Gate SantiagoLocated at the foot of the eponymous hill overlooked by the Church of St. Paul, one of the oldest buildings in town, the Gate of Santiago is one of the oldest and emblematic monuments of the city. Built in the early sixteenth century it was a fortress built under the Portuguese domination to protect the city from external invasions, as evidenced by the numerous cannons located all around. Then taken by the Dutch, then the British, the door stands majestically today witnessed a busy and eventful history.
Stadhuys Dutsch SquareThe Stadthuys was built by the Dutch between 1641 and 1660 on the ruins of a fort that belonged to the Portuguese. The massive building in red shows all the common features of the Dutch colonial architecture with solid doors and louvered windows. Also known as the Red Square, is a historic structure located in the heart of town. It was once the official residence of the Dutch governors and their officers.
Hoon Teng ChenThe oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia "Chen Hoon Teng", built in 1645 with materials imported from China, has held a prominent place in the Chinese community for nearly 400 years. He also served as administrative headquarters and court. Worked under his roof, coexist three doctrines: Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
The elaborate decoration of the interior and exterior of serenity surrounds visitors. It involves among other dragons, flowers and lions. There may also be several historical and religious scenes displayed on the walls.
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple Le always organizes Chinese traditional ceremonies and rites.
St. Peter's ChurchThe Church of St. Peter built in 1710, contains an alabaster effigy of pre-resurrection of Jesus, the only of its kind in Malaysia. The bell is 400 years old was created in Goa, India.
Saint Paul ChurchPerched on top of the eponymous hill, reached by a flight of steps from Town Square, St. Paul's Church, Malacca, is one of the oldest buildings in the city.
There also remains much except the outside walls of the church built in 1521, during the period of Portuguese occupation. One can still admire, from up there, a beautiful view of the Strait and the city below, justifying the fact to climb to the top!