St. Paul's Church Ruins, Melaka
Other than the Protestant Christ Church in Melaka, there lies another ancient church on top a hill. Built by the Portuguese in 1521, the church later fell into disrepair when it became a fort under the Dutch and a storage area under the British. Though it lies there as an empty shell now, the ruins of St Paul's is still worth taking a look due to the beautiful hill scenary and the ancient funenary stone slabs.
As I mentioned, the church of St Paul's is just a shell and used for other purposes other than worship. Busking is one such activity. Note the ancient funenary slabs beside the busker. Most of it is written in Dutch.
As I mentioned, the ruins of St Paul's Church is nothing more than a shell now. But when when it was built in 1521, it was a gathering point for the Catholic Portuguese parishioners who settled in Melaka. Interestingly, it was built by a Portuguese Sea Captain, Duarte Coelho, in gratitude to the Virgin Mary for saving his life in the South China Sea. So logically speaking, after the church was built it was called "The Lady of the Hill" . It was only called St Paul's after the Dutch siege in the 1600s. Another point of interest over here is the wire-mashed area that used to house the remains of St Francis Xavier. The body ( still incorruptible after hundreds of years ) is in Goa, India today. Click here to read the story of the saint.
Built at 1571 by the Portuguese and regularly visited by St Francis Xavier from China. His statue also standing still in the front of this ruins. Hardly imagine that the place for worshippers changed to be gunpowder storage by the British army.
Peaceful face with cutted right hand ... This is a statue of a holyman who visit Melaka continuously from China and when passed away, his body interred in St. Paul's Church within 9 months before transffered to Goa [India].
These kind of tombstones, remind me with Taman Prasasti [open-air museum in Jakarta ~ I put in my Jakarta travelogue] in my country. It's about Dutch tombstones from 17s and dedicated, mostly to the soldiers.
On top of St. Paul's Hill is the ruins of St. Paul's Church, once a chapel of the Portuguese Catholics called "Our Lady of the Hill" and was built by Portuguese Captain Duerte Coelho. The ruins overlooking the sea was later renamed by the Dutch as St Paul's Church after they took over Melaka and used it as a place of worship until Christ Church was completed.
On the grounds of the church lie many graves of Dutch noblemen, the tombstones have Latin and Portuguese inscriptions on them. The remains of St Francis Xavier was buried here briefly in 1553 before it was shipped back to India, what remain now is the plot of his grave inside the ruins of the church.
St Pauls is set in a very nice location, overlooking mahkota raya, a'famosa and from there you can also see the sultanate palance and many other places. Well worth the trek up the hill just for the view.
The actual ruins are not much to look at by western standards but are some of the most historical buildings in malaysia and are wortha a quick look.
The hill on the way up is full of all sorts of people, from those wanting to draw your portrait to those who want to sell you malaysian tourist kitch.
It was first built in 1521 by the portuguse as a small chapel was famed by Sir Francis Xaviers visits. This church was later inlarged into two storeys and a tower was added. Following that, it was taken over by the dutch and then finally the english. Both of which let the church fall into ruins, as it wasnt used for much other than a store for gunpowder.
This church has been in ruins for more than 150 years
Up at the top of St Pauls Hill is the ruins of St Pauls Church.
It was formerly a chapel named ‘Our Lady of the Hill’ by the Portuguese. The Dutch later renamed it ‘St. Paul’s Church’ .
On the way up the hill is the original fort built by the Portugese when they arrived in 1511. They called it A Formosa.
the st paul's church sits on the hill just behind the a'famosa fotress.. it was a portugese catholic church for prayers.. later, after the dutch invasion, it was turned into a burial for the noble dead including st. francis xavier before his body was moved to goa in india.. although much of the structure have been destroyed, there are still tombstones with latin inscriptions on them displayed around the church structure..
The most scenic spot in Mekala is up the hill to the ruins of St. Paul's Church, which was originally built by the Portuguese in 1521.
The church fell into disuse once the Dutch took over Melaka, and later the site was used to build a lighthouse by the British.
Nice shady area to catch a good view of Melaka and the surrounding areas.
When visiting Malacca make sure you make the effort to visit this historic site. It is worth the walk up the hill in the heat. This is the original burial site of St. Francis Xavier. The views from here are superb too.
St Paul's Church was built by the Portuguese in 1521. St Francis Xavier, a missionary who came to Melaka in 1545, often visited here whenever he passed by Melaka during his travels in the area. His empty tomb can now be seen inside (the body was transfered to Goa in India after nine months) as well as a statue of him in front of the church.
After the Dutch and later the British came to power, the church lost it's importance and it ended up as a storehouse for gunpowder. It has been a ruin for a long time, more than 150 years anyway.
To reach the church one has to climb the St Paul's Hill which is very steep and could be hard to do if you are not fit enough. There are in fact better combinations than steep stairs (more than 110 steps) and scorching sun without any shadow...
Standing high on the hill overlooking Melaka and the Straits of Malacca this ruin is woth the climb. besides the long history of this church with its Dutch Tombstones there are the magnificent views.
A small chapel was built in 1521, Our Lady of the Hill. During 1556 the church was enlarged to the 2 storeys that we see in ruin today and named St Paul's Church.
The Church is associated with St Francis Xavier who regularly visited. in fact after his death in China his body was temporarily interred at St Paul's for 9 months before being transferred to Goa. The ancient tomb remains in the centre of the ruin.
The church has been in ruins for over 150 years. We first visited this church in 2000 on a family holiday and well worth the climb to visit again.
Built by a Portuguese Captain (Duarte Coelho) in 1521 and name it 'Our Lady of the Hill'. The chapel was turned by the Dutch into a burial ground for their noble dead. It was later renamed 'St. Paul's Church. by the British.
St. Francis Xavier was briefly enshrined in the open grave in 1553 before being shipped to Goa, India.
This church was built by the Portuguese in 1521 and was the one time burial place of St Francis Xavier before the body was moved to Goa. After the Dutch took over they converted the building to a fortress.