Another must do in Melaka ! Visit the Clock Tower in the Middle of the Dutch Square and discover an irritating secret borne by the locals.
As I mentioned earlier, not everything old and monumental in the Dutch Square in Melaka is Dutch. The Tan Beng Swee clock tower is another example. It was donated by a millionaire in 1886 with a clock imported from England. After a while, the clock died out like colonialism and was replaced by a Seiko in 1982. Well, you would think that such a small event would be quiet right? Nope, far from it, the incident roused the ire of the elderly folks. Why? Well, those old folks have less than fond memories of the Japanese occupation it seems. But to no avail, the Seiko is still ticking away merrily at the tower today . I don't think the elderly ones have contacted Swatch for sponsorship yet...
This is an absolute must, oh yes, when you're in Melaka. Honestly, if you've not been to the red-painted buildings at Dutch Square, you've not been to Melaka at all!
A long,long time ago, Melaka came under the Dutch rule and the red buildings are by far, the most obvious testimony of their short rule here. The red building, called the Stadthuys, is believed to have been completed in 1650 and was home to the Dutch governors. Now, it has become the Malacca Historical Museum and the drawing point for tourists, trishaw drivers. Opposite of the Stadhuys is Queen Victoria's fountain and the Malacca Clock Tower, built in 1886 by a local rich sod, sorry, I meant a millionaire.
Situated next to the Malacca river. A Gothic style church with two tall towers. Built in 1849 Reverend Farve from France. This church is dedicated to Saint Francis Xavier, in his missionary work spreading Catholicism to South East Asia in 16th century. The statue of this Saint can be seen on Saint Paul's Hill [see my Saint Paul's must see activities]
The clock towers is located in Dutch Square but it is isn't actually one of the Dutch buildings. The tower was actually donated in 1886 by a millionaire long after the original Dutch buildings were constructed.
If you look behind and to the right of the tower you can just see the Christ Church which was built in 1753.
At the far right of the picture is the Stadthuys which was built between 1641 and 1660 and is believed to be the oldest Dutch building in the East. It was used as the town hall and governor's residence.
This ornate fountain lies in the middle of the small square outside the Stadthuys and Christ Church. It was erected in 1904 by the people of Malacca to commemorate Her Majesty's 60th anniversary on the British throne (1837-1901).
It was built in 1753. This church notable feature is the ceiling beams, over 15m (16yd) long, were each made from a single tree. The 200-year old pews, at the altar, there is a painting of the Last Supper on glazed tiles and on the floors are tombstones in Armenian script.
The entrance is free but you can make a donation towards the upkeep of the church.
Dutch Square is known for Christ Church and Stadthuys, however it has many other tourist attractions.
The Fountain in the centre of the square is beautiful and surrounded by nice landscaping. Erected by the British during 1904 in memory of the late Queen Victoria. The fountain has four bas-relief images of the Queen's face.
Close to the Fountain is the impressive Clock Tower.
This Melaka’s famous landmark would take you back into its glorious past. Looking at the flowers in different colors gives you a taste of Europe, strongly speaks of the western occupation of Melaka. Included in the square are the Christ Church, Malaysian Youth Museum, the Clock Tower, the Studthuys and the added windmill. Every traveler who visits Melaka would come to this place.
This lovely square reflects the Dutch influence on Melaka and it is considered the central point of town. You will see Stadhuys, Christ Church as well as the clock tower, the fountain and the small windmill. The square is always crowded with tourists. This is the first place to start your tour in Melaka.
The Malacca Town Square, also known as the Dutch Square, is one of the best recognised places in Malacca, almost a Malacca icon in the same mould as the Porta de Santiago. Around the Town Square are all the major Malacca landmarks. This includes the Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower, the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Fountain, the old General Post Office (now the Youth Museum) and biggest of them all, the Stadthuys.
All the buildings here wear a coat of maroon paint, giving the square a decidedly foreign feel not found anywhere else in Malaysia. Unlike popular perception, however, the buildings were not originally painted maroon as you see today. Instead they were faced with bricks. When the authorities discovered the brick façade leaks, they covered it with plaster and painted it white. Later, in the 1920s, the British changed the colour to a bright salmon red. The present local authorities darkened the colour further, so now the buildings have a maroon colour.
This clock tower outside the Stadthuys was given to the people of Malacca in 1886 by Mr Tan Jiak Kim to fulfil the wishes of his father, Tan Beng Swee, who was a third generation of a Chinese philantrophic millionaire family. Tan Beng Swee, was the son of Tan Kim Seng who donated both the bridge adjacent to the clocktower and land for the Chinese cemetery. The original clock was imported from England. When the clock was replaced by one from Seiko in 1982, it caused an uproar among the senior citizens of Malacca who still recall the harsh treatment they suffered during Japan occupation.
Next to Stadhuys is Christ Church, which was completed in 1753, making it the oldest Protestant church in Malaysia. It is an excellent example of Dutch architecture. A notable feature of the church is its ceiling, whose beams, over 15m long, were each made from a single tree. The 200-year-old pews are still in evedence.