Malacca, Kuala Lumpur
A Famosa (or The Famous in portuguese) is one of the remnants of Portuguese History of Melaka. Together with St. Paul's Hill, they are the remains of the portuguese legacy of the portuguese occupation of Melaka starting from 1511 to 1641 AD.
The only two Remains of the A Famosa Fortress lies on both ends of the Jalan Kota Road, the first is the Kotal Melaka (or MIddleburg Bastion, beside the Melaka Tourism Center) and near the Dataran Merdeka (independene square) and which is now called Porta De Santiago as it was only the gate that was remaining when the british destroyed the fortress in the 1840's as the timely intervention of Sir Henry Stanford Raffles, saved the remaining gate from being destroyed.
The history of A Famosa Fortress started in 1511 AD, after Melaka was conquered by the portuguese admiral Alfonso De Alburquerque, who believed that Melaka would become an important port linking Portugal to the spice trade from China because during this time other Portuguese were establishing outposts in such places as Macau, China and Goa, India in order to create a string of friendly ports for ships heading to China and returning home to Portugal.
The A Famosa fortress once consisted of long ramparts and four major towers encircling St Paul's Hill and the now area of Bandar Hilir. One Tower was a four-story keep, while the others held an ammunition's storage room, the residence of the captain, and an officers' quarters. When the Dutch attacked and conqured Melaka in 1641 after a 5 month siege, they renovated the fortress and also the Porta De Santiago Gate, that is why there was an ANNO 1670 sign at the Arch.
When the dutch gave Melaka temporarily to the British in 1825 to prevent it from falling to Napeolonic France, the british decided to destroy the fort and also Melaka, to prevent the dutch from making it a major trading port again (as they have singapore and penang as port cities) when they would return it to the Dutch (but it never happened as they annexed Melaka) and again Melakans have to thank Sir Stamford Raffles for it.
The Declaration of Independence Musuem and the Melka Sultanate Replica Palace & Museum are just a stone's throw away from the Porta De Santiago Gate.
Address: Jalan Kota, 75000, Melaka
Directions: Part of the historical enclave in Banda Hilir, on the foot of St Paul Hill next to the Melaka Sultanate Palace
St. Paul's Hill was formerly called Mary's Hill in the Potuguese Times as on the top of the Hill sits the former Portuguese Chapel (called the Nossa Senhora da Annunciada or Our Lady of Grace) built in 1521 by a local portuguese nobeleman who escaped a shipwreck during a storm in the south china sea.
The chapel became a full church in 1553 and donated to the Jesuits, the great Jesuit Saint Francis Xavier was interred here temporarily during those time before being re interred in Goa in India. The Chapel was then renamed Igreja de Madre de Deus (Church of the Mother of God). After the Dutch Congquest in 1641, the church was reconsecrated into a Dutch Reformed Church named St. Paul's and was the main Dutch Church in Melaka up to 1753, when the Christ Church was built. The hill was renamed St. Paul's Hill too.
During the British Occupation of 1825, the church was converted into a gun powder magazine storage area.
The St. Paul Church Gained prominence when it when part of it was excavated by a local malacca historical sociiety and the old portuguese grave stones brought back to the church and in 1950's a Statue of St. Francis Xavier was put at the front of the church.
There is also the Dutch Graveyard in the foot of the St. Paul Hill and the Governor's Mansion, now a Musuem too.
Address: Jalan Kota, Melaka, Malaysia
Dutch Square is the Main Attraction of Melaka! The Post Card Pictures of Melaka are from here and at the Christ Church in the Square.
Dutch Square, besides being the main dropping off and fetching point of the hordes of tourists going on a day tour of Melaka (from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore), is the administrative and political center of Dutch Melaka, which was the longest occupier of Melaka. The well preserved Dutch Square was built in the 1660's by the dutch to house the offices and quarters of the Dutch Governor (The Stadhuys) and officials. This area also has a Queen Victoria Fountain, built in 1904 by the British, the Christ Church, built in 1753 (was a Dutch Reformed Church but was rebuilt into an Anglican Church by the British) and the Tang Beng Swee Clock Tower (which was built in 1886 to honor a prominent Melakan Chinese Philantropist).
Besides these historic sites, the Square also hosts lots of souvenir shops, stalls, restaurant in the area and along Jalan Laksamana and Jalan Gereja and lots of Trishaw drivers that entice tourists to ride them.
Address: Jalan Gereja, Jalan Laksamana, Melaka
most people used Jonker Walk or Jonker street interchangeably but both descibe the main Street of Old Chinatown Melaka!
The current name of Jonker Walk is Jalan Hang Jebat and this 500 meter plus street starts at the intersection of Jalan Laksamana and Lorong Hang Hebat in front of the Huge Replica Galleon of Admiral Cheng Ho and ends at the intersection of Jalan Tokong, near the Chinese Stage used for karaoker sessions during the nightmarket. Jonker Walk plus the side streets around it is the center of commerce during the old times.
Jonker Walk and the side streets beside it, is a mish mash of various peranakan heritage houses dating back up to the 17th century, chinese buddhist and taoist temples and regional clan houses, many shops selling antiques, textiles, handicrafts and souvenirs and the famous melaka sweets plus famous local malaysian chinese restaurants selling famous melaka regional food like chicken rice balls.
The Street is closed during weekends starting at 6:00 pm everyday for the famous night market.
Address: Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Melaka is just a 2 hour drive from Kuala Lumpur and the Place is a Unesco World Heritage Site. It has numerous Musuems. There are various Tour Companies that offer full day or Multi Day Tours of Melaka.
Melaka can accurately be described as Museum Central as there are many musuems along the Old City, ranging from around Jonker Walk and it's Environs (Baba and Nyonya Musuem, Admiral Cheng Ho Museum various Chinese Temple Musuems), Dutch Square and the Stadhuys (The Stadthuys Musuem, Malaysia Youth Museum & Melaka Art Gallery), Jalan Merdeka (Maritime Musuem), Jalan Kota (Museum of Literature, Melaka Stamps Museum, Malaysia Architectural Museum, Islamic Museum, The Malay & Islamic World Museum, Malacca Sultanate Palace), Jalan Paramesawa (Proclamation of Independence Memorial Musuem), St Paul Hill (Museum of History, Ethnography and Literature, Governor's Mansion and Museum).
There are other musuems around the old city!
Most Museums have admission prices and are open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm everyday
I Did not include areas outside of the old City like Little India or Bukit China or Ayer Keroh.
Address: All Around Melaka Old City
Now this was one of the hilights of our trip. After reading all about it here on vt and thanks to Chia (chiabh) for his fantastic tips and Vivian (luhweitze) for the great tip on baba nyonya food, our trip to Melaka was awesome!! :o) This is a must do!! on your trip to KL!!
Melaka is about 2 hours south of KL. Our driver for the Fireflies recommended his friend Patrick to take us and we are glad we took him up on the offer. Patrick our driver certainly made the experience great. I have given Patrick a write up on a transport tip should you want to hire him for your day trip to Melaka.
Melaka is a quaint historical town with beautiful old buildings, some with awesome art work. We soon realised that one day is just not enough to do Melaka, so the next time we come back we will definately have to stay a couple of nights to enjoy all there is to do in Melaka.
Read all about our adventure in the travelogue below :o)
The hotel tour desk had tours to everywhere and everything. Our group of 13 wished to visit Malacca and we organised a bus with driver and guide for the day. We asked that the bus be for ourselves, however the next morning when we boarded the bus there were 3 other people onboard.
We were to pick the guide up on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur but were delayed an hour as his car was involved in a motor accident. Eventually he arrived in his dented car.
90 minutes later we arrived in the old trading city of Malacca, a port city on the Straits of Malacca with plenty of history from the time of the Portuguese (1500's onwards) Malays, British etc etc.
Many of the old buildings, Temples, ruins, old shophouses remain and there is plenty of history to view and photo. We also had a local lunch included, nice food and a beer included.
After lunch we again went sightsseing, however a heavy storm arrived mid afternoon, but we continued walking the streets.
An enjoyable day and recommended to anyone visiting Kuala Lumpur who has a day to spare.
Malacca is located on the west coast of Malaysia, about 150 kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur and where much of Malaysia's rich history can be traced.
The Portuguese influence is still very visible in the city's architecture.
Melaka, 2 hours south of KL by Coach, this place needs it own headon VT (how do I add one of those). Rich in history, conflict and really was the start of Malaysia back in 1400's.
Some dude, exiled from Sumatra founded the port, a few Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and Brit’s and 500 years later you have modern day Melaka.
The main historical part of town and Chinatown are all with in short strolling time, which is quite handy in the heat.
I travlled up from Singapore by Coach (S$25 - 4 hours) and returned the same way, but bought my ticket in Melaka for RM12.50 which is a quarter of the price for the same trip.
Stayed at Tony's Guest House (formerly Apple), Single room cost me RM12 and it was very very central. Close to Capitol Satay and Madras Resturants, and a short stumble from the Discovery Cafe where a got a little drunk with Mike & Tony, Mike was another guest of Tony's.
Very enjoyable and relaxing location
We took a day trip down to Melacca which was quite good. There will be more photos and infos in the travelouge soon.