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..
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".
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.
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.
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.
Yes, the gate lay in ruin. Yes, even the pavement looked to be worn out. But did you notice the coats-of-arms above the gate itself? Well, when the Dutch took over Malacca, they also went ahead to re-construct the fort. What is now on the apex of the gate is a Dutch East India Company's emblem.
I was told that there is a chinese junk in the picture and where it was etched in was because the Chinese traded quite a bit in this area. Is the history lesson I'd picked up correct?
A crooked bridge to link Malaysia to Singapore was what a Malaysian ex-Prime Minister have been fighting for. But a crooked entrance at A'Famosa or what is known as Porta de Santiago. We'll I'll get to that story after my history lesson!
I learnt so much about Alfonso De Albuquerque in the history book and it's one name I remember the most. Why? Because its unique - Much nicer sounding than Christiano Ronaldo. After taking control of Malacca in 1511, he went on to build the fort in 1512.
People could visit the fort but in the evenings, the gates would be closed and only Portuguese could remain on the grounds. So well protected right? But still they lost out to the Dutch and during the siege, many Portuguese died of various diseases.
Oh yes, now for the crooked gate story. The gates leading to A'Famosa was built in a fashion that ensured a canon blast does not go through the doorway to damage the compound. And how is that done? The Portuguese ensured that there's a kink - a sharp bend to as seen in the entrance. So there's the story.
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.
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.