A' Famosa, Melaka

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Jalan Kota, Melaka

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  • The gate.
    The gate.
    by IreneMcKay
  • They start their buskers young in Melaka.
    They start their buskers young in...
    by IreneMcKay
  • Walking down to the gate.
    Walking down to the gate.
    by IreneMcKay
  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    Porta de Santiago

    by IreneMcKay Written Oct 19, 2013

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    They start their buskers young in Melaka.
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    Porta de Santiago Fortress was built by the Portuguese, under the command of Afonso de Albuquerque, in 1511. They had attacked Melaka and overthrown the sultan who fled to Johor. They built the fortress as a defensive structure.

    At its height the fortress was made up of several long ramparts and four major towers. Most of the village of Melaka was located inside the fortress walls. As the population grew extensions had to be added to the fortress in around 1586.

    In 1641 the Dutch drove the Portuguese out of Melaka.The Dutch renovated the fortress gate in 1670, adding the logo ANNO 1670 and a bas-relief logo of the Dutch East India Company to the gate's archway.

    In 1806 the fortress was given by the Dutch to the British when Holland was invaded by France. The British were fearful that the Dutch may try to reclaim Melaka and began destroying the fortress. The fortress would have been totally destroyed but for the intervention of Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore, who visited Melaka in 1810. He persuaded the British to stop the destruction and preserve the remains of the fort. He was able to save this beautiful gateway.

    When we visited there was a busker inside playing guitar and a cute little boy with a toy guitar playing next to him. There were several cannons arranged around the gate. Lots of people were having their photos taken with the remains including two very cute little girls all done up in their finest dresses. There were flower festooned trishaws all around.

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    A Famosa / St. Paul's Hill

    by Airpunk Written Mar 31, 2013

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    The old gatehouse
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    St. Paul's Hill is the highest elevation in Melaka's city centre and the location of the former Portuguese fort called "A Famosa" (The Famous). The fort was part of a system of Portuguese trading points established in the 15th and 16th century. The Dutch continued to use it until the Napoleonic wars when they handed over the fort to the British Empire. To prevent the French from conquering the fort, the British ordered it to be destroyed, but due to intervention of Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, a small gatehouse was preserved. This gatehouse is known as Porta de Santiago and has many inscriptions from the Portuguese and Dutch era. Ruins of other structures were found during excavations on the site in the early 2000s. St. Paul's church is described in a separate tip.

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    A' Famosa - a fortress from 1511.

    by Askla Updated Dec 21, 2012
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    The history of the A' Famosa (just to the right of the marker) dates back to 1511 when Alfonso de Albuquerque and the Portuguese fleet under his command arrived at Malacca. He soon built a fortress to defend what he had taken from the locals. What we can now see is only one of altogether four towers connected with a high wall. Each of the towers had a special purpose: one for the captain's residence, one for the officers, one to store the ammunition and the last one a keep for the guards.
    In the 17th century the fortress was handed over to the Dutch as they came into power in the region, and later it was also handed over to the British. They decided to destroy the fortress and they almost did, but Sir Stamford Raffles managed to save a little part of it.
    A' Famosa is also known as Porta de Santiago.
    Some of the cannon which can be seen, the greenish ones, are original whereas the others are replicas.
    "You can’t say you have been to Malacca if you haven't visited the A' Famosa."

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    Old ruins

    by deeper_blue Written Sep 21, 2012

    On St Paul's hill you can step back in time to the Portuguese rule. A Formosa is the fort that looks onto the river. Today only the church and the Santiago gate remain standing, after the British blew the rest up. It's a nice place to walk around to understand the history of Melaka.

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    Melaka Fortress & Key Points Porta De Santiago

    by Mikebb Updated Feb 4, 2012

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    Notice Detailing Portuguese Fortification
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    The A'Fomasa fortress included a large area within the fortifications. The photo of the notice detailing the plan of the original fortification lists many of the historic buildings and ruins which remain today.

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    A'Famosa - A Portuguese Fortress Ruin

    by Mikebb Updated Jan 29, 2012

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    A Famosa Fortress Gate - Porta De Santiago
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    Built by the Portuguese as a fortress in 1511 and partly demolished by the Dutch during 1810. Also known as Porta De Santiago.

    The arch contains the inscription "VOC" of the Dutch East India Company. The Dutch took control during 1670 and used part of the fort.

    Our visit was limited to 10 minutes which I thought was sufficient time. History Buffs most likely would appreciate more time.

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  • arianne_1504's Profile Photo

    St Pauls Hill (A Famosa)

    by arianne_1504 Written Jul 22, 2011

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    The formidable fort entrance
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    When the Portuguese arrived at the shores of Melaka, the first thing they did was build a fort overlooking the river, which they named A Famosa. The A Famosa is one of the oldest examples of European Architecture present in Southeast Asia.

    Throughout the Portuguese rule, the fort was critical to their foothold of the island because the town was constantly under threats from other foreign powers, namely the British and Dutch. The fort was also instrumental in maintaining the Portuguese stronghold across the Far East. It consisted of housing and food stores, a castle, a meeting room for the Portuguese Council and five churches.

    In the late 17th century, Malacca came under attack by the Dutch and was significantly damaged, leaving only the entrance façade and the structure of a church at the top of the hill. In the early 19th century, the fortress was taken over by the British who decided to destroy it. This destruction came about in the year 1806; all was demolished expect for a small part, what is found today, the last bit of the once active and important fortress.

    Take a stroll up St. Paul’s Hill (the steps are not as intimidating as they look and there is plenty of room to stop and rest) and walk around what is left of the great fort. It is better if you head up after 3 pm when the sun is less hot and the sea breeze begins.

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  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Porta de Santiago

    by Willettsworld Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Porta de Santiago, or Gate of St. James, is the sole remaining gateway into the former fortress, known as A Famosa, built by the Portuguese when they conquered Malacca in 1511. Immediately after Malacca fell, they used forced labour to build a temporary fort to counter Malay attacks, while they worked on the main fort, which they nicknamed "A Famosa", or officially, the Fortaleza de Malaca, or the Fortress of Malacca. By 1583, Malacca had become a fortified city protected by seventy canons aimed in all directions.

    The fortress was so well built that it helped the Portuguese ward off all forms of attacks. In order to capture Malacca, the Dutch laid siege around the fortress for five months with the help of Johor, while Malaccas citizens, trapped inside, were reduced to eating cats, rats, plus there was a case of a women eating her dead infant. Finally, on 14th January 1641, the Dutch stormed into the fort. The Dutch repaired and renovated the fort and placed their coat of arms above the gates. This can still be seen today at Porta de Santiago, the remaining gate, with the inscription "Anno 1670".

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    Santiago Bastion

    by Willettsworld Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Santiago Bastion was part of Malacca's fortress remains built by the Portuguese after conquering the Malacca Malay Sultanate in 1511. The fortress was then consolidated by the Dutch in 1641 but was destroyed by the British under the leadership of William Farquhar in 1807. However, this part of the bastion of the fort was found in 2002 when excavations were down during the construction of the underground Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall. The site was formerly the shore but was bounded by the sea wall embankment constructed by the British in the early 19th century. It was then turned into a land fill in the 1930s.

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  • A Famosa Melaka

    by nowalkhan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    A Famosa part of Melaka Heritage Walk is one of the oldest architecture in Melaka. It was built by Portuguese. It is a must visit place while you are in Melaka and located right in the center of the city. Near to Malacca Sultanate Palace and Dataran Pahalwan Mega Mall.

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  • cs_zee's Profile Photo

    Fort A Famosa

    by cs_zee Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Fort A Famosa ( Porta de Santiago )

    This prominet landmark synonymous with Melaka, was a fortress built bt the Portuguese admiral. Alfonso d' Albuquerque in 1511. It was badly damaged during the Dutch invasion in 1941. Timely intervention by Sir Stamford Raffles, a British offical, in 1808 saved what remains of the A'Famosa today.

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    THE OLD FORT

    by DAO Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    HELLO!

    You are looking at a tip I have not added content to yet. If you need information about this now, please email me and I will update it immediately. Thank you for your patience.

    DAO

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  • mary2u99's Profile Photo

    Porta de Santiago (A Famosa)

    by mary2u99 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Porta de Santiago is one of the four main gates of A Famosa fortress; it was built by the Portuguese in 1512 under the command of Alfonso de Albuquerque.

    It expanded to the surrounding area which includes Jalan Kota, Jalan Gereja, Jalan Mahkamah and Jalan Istana. The Portuguese turned this fort into a Christian city.

    It was damage during the Dutch invasion but later repaired and renamed it VOC. The British wanted to destroy it but Sir Stamford Raffles intervene in 1808 and saved what remains of A' Famosa today. What’s left is a gateway called Porta de Santiago with an embossed 'VOC' emblem.

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  • pres_16's Profile Photo

    A' Famosa: Porta de Santiago

    by pres_16 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    new pix
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    A fortress built by a Portuguese Admiral in 1511, this was badly damaged by a Dutch invasion in 1641. The remains of the A’Famosa, courtesy of Sir Stamford Raffles’s intervention, reminds me of Intramuros, a fortress in the Philippines which the Philippines has during the Spanish conquest.

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    An Old Fort

    by longsanborn Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The A Formosa Fort
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    A Famosa, or "The Famous" in Portuguese, is among the oldest surviving European architectural remains in Asia. Once part of a mighty fortress, this tiny gate (called the Porta de Santiago) is all that is left of a once-mighty fortress.

    In 1511, a Portuguese fleet arrived under the command of Alfonso de Albequerque. His forces attacked and successfully defeated the armies of the Sultanate. Moving quickly to consolidate his gains, Albequerque had the fortress built around a natural hill near the sea. The fort changed hands in 1641 when the Dutch successfully drove the Portuguese out of Melaka. The Dutch renovated the gate in 1670, which explains the logo "ANNO 1670" inscribed on the gate's arch. Then the fortress changed hands again in the early 19th century when the Dutch handed it over to the British to prevent it from falling into the hands of Napoleon's expansionist France.

    The fort was almost totally demolished except for the timely intervention of Sir Stanford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, who happened to visit Melaka in 1810. Because of his passion for history this small gate was spared destruction.

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