Now, if you've read my earlier instalment, you would have noted that A'formosa is no more than a gate and the church of St Paul's no more than a burnt out shell. Now look at this old Dutch map. Can you see a long-walled fort and the grand church on top a hill?? Yes, those are the original structures in ol' Melaka. Apparently, this must have been an artist's impression before the Dutch rained some 18,000 cannon balls on the city....
Besides the ruined church on the hill, those Portuguese masters also left behind a solid fort gate at the base of the hill in Melaka. Now, you may know this famous symbol of Melaka as A' Farmosa but that is as far removed from the truth as Melaka is from Timbuktu. The gate is called Porta de Santiago. Though nothing more that a ruin with a modern cannon, it's still worth taking a look. You'll want to see this after listening to this interesting story that connects the fort with the founder of modern Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles!
In 1808, Porta de Santiago was nearly lost forever to history as orders were given by the British Governor of Pahang to demolish it, along with the fortress at the mouth of the river. Unfortunately for the locals ( and luckily for us ), their spades, picks and crowbars were useless against a fortress which reportedly had walls fifteen feet thick! But before they could use gunpowder, Stamford Raffles stepped in and saved what tourists can see today! Thanks to him, we can see the grand construction of the fort and the Dutch logo that the sods imprinted on the Portuguese fort after seizing control. Click here to see the Dutch logo.
Your visit to Melaka is not complete if you are not visiting the famous Portugese Monument the A'Famosa. There is no cover charge whatsoever to visit the A'Famosa. The effort that needed here is just to climb a few steps to visit the main building which is situated on the top of the hill. A must for all visitors and tourist.
A Portuguese Fort in the valley of St. Paul's hill. Taken over by Dutch and used as one of the fortress of Verenigde Oost Indische Compagnie [VOC]. It's one of the "top models" in Old Malacca city, after the Christ Church.
Porta de Santiago known as A' Famosa.
A'famosa fort is one of Melaka's most famous places next to the lovely red buildings of Christ Church, and its not hard to see why. The malaysians are very proud of their heritage, and the fact that they have such history in comparision to many other others in the world.
At night they use large lights to light up the fort and it has a real errie feel about it, think haunted hause, but something which could really be haunted.. really cool.
It was first built in 1512 by a man called Alfonso de Albuquergue, however historians believe that Stamford Raffles may have done something about it. The relic also bears the coat of arms of the east india company as it was used by the Dutch after they took over in 1670.
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.
the a'famosa fotress was built during the portugese rule over malacca.. take a step back to the glorious past visiting this site.. most of the structure have been destroyed by the dutch during their invasion.. only the etnrance still stands tall until today..
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.
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.
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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