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Top Tours

 
Full-Day Malacca Tour from Singapore
"The Malacca city center showcases unique history and culture spanning over 600 years gained from previous colonization by Europeans such as the Portuguese Dutch and British. The journey on the road from Singapore to Malacca takes around 3-4 hours. Savor the view outside as you travel across Singapore and Malaysia or catch a nap in the vehicle.Once at Malacca the first thing that catches your eye will most probably be the iconic red church that Malacca is so famously marketed for to tourists. This building is called Christ Church said to be the oldest protestant church in Malaysia. On the opposite side of Christ Church is the Red Clock Tower that was erected in 1886.Next you will get to see Porta de Santiago (A'Famosa). This is one of the most popular sites in Malacca. It is a major historical landmark and probably the most photographed structure in Malacca. It is one of the oldest surviving European architectural remain you will find yourself at St Paul's Church. Although what remains of the church are now only ruins
From SGD179.00
 
Private Day Trip to Malacca from Kuala Lumpur
"The trip starts with a pick up at your hotel lobby around 9am and depart to the Melacca city. After 2-hour drive you will reach the first attraction Stadthuys. A lovely old and well preserved building with a Dutch historical past located in the heart of Melacca city. You will find many trishaw awaiting and transporting tourists in this area.Then we will take a panoramic view of the city and surrounding from the top of St. Paul’s hill which features the historic of St. Paul Church. After a break for lunch (at your own expense) you will follow our guide to explore Jonker Street located in Chinatown. The Jonker Street is Melacca’s epicentre and you can find many antique shops clothing
From $95.00
 
Private Tour: Historical Malacca Trip from Kuala Lumpur Including Lunch
"After getting picked up at your hotel in Kuala Lumpur begin the 2-hour journey in the comfortable air-conditioned car on this private tour. Enjoy the scenery during the drive and learn from the guide all about the history of Malaysia in general and Malacca in particular. Stop at the Church of St. Paul the early-16th-century church that is the oldest of its kind in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Then marvel at the tomb of St. Francis Xavier before heading to Stadthuys an old Dutch word for 'city hall.' Known as 'Red Square
From $67.00

St. Paul's Church Ruins Tips (60)

GOOD VIEW OF MELAKA FROM ST. PAUL'S HILL

Even if you are not interested in the museums or church ruins on St. Paul's Hill it would be a good idea to climb it just to get a good view of Meleka It is the best place in town to see Melaka except for the rotating view deck on the tower which costs quite a bit for the 7 minute experience. It will only take 5 minutes to climb the hill from the Stadhuys.

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davidjo
Mar 27, 2016

STATUE LOST THE ARM 400 YRS AFTER SAINT LOST HIS

Excavations of the church began in 1924 and the Portuguese Burial vault was uncovered and during the 1930's the tombstones that were scattered around were fixed to the church walls. A statue of St Francis Xavier was erected in 1952 commemorating the 400th anniversary of his arrival in Melaka. It is interesting to note that a day after the statue was consecrated a tree fell on it and severed his right arm, which seemed a coincidence as in 1614 the right arm of the saint was severed as a relic.

davidjo's Profile Photo
davidjo
Mar 27, 2016

THE OLDEST CHURCH IN MALAYSIA

Built on top of Bukit St. Pauls in 1521 it is not only the oldest church in Malaysia but also south east Asia. It was constructed tby a Portuguese nobleman and dedicated the Virgin Mary and was known as Nossa Senhora da Annunciada (Our Lady of Grace) . Duarte Coelho had survived from a storm in the South China Sea and it was an act of gratitude. In 1548 the church was deeded to the Society of Jesus by the Bishop of Goa with the deeds being received by St. Francis Xavier. It was enlarged in 1556 and the bell tower added in 1590 and renamed Igreja de Madre de Deus (Church of the Mother of God). In 1592 a burial vault was opened and quite a few notable people have been buried there.
In 1641 when the Dutch captured Melaka the church was renamed as St. Paul's Church, but in 1753 Christ Church ws built and the old church was deconsecrated and was used as part of the fortifications of the town. When the British occupied Melaka in 1824 it was used for storing powder and deteriorated further, and it was never used as a church again.

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davidjo
Mar 27, 2016

St Paul's church

I can't really add anything to the excellent history people have already provided, so instead I'll offer a few tips:

It's a short climb to the church, but it's exposed and very hot - the steps also look like they might be treacherous if there were to be a downpour while you were at the top. There's a lad selling cold drinks just before the final set of steps who might come in handy.

There isn't very much to see at the top, unless like me you're interested in reading old gravestones (or unlike me, interested in buying tat from the dozen or so tat-sellers). The church is ruined, but it's still attractive.

Both times I went, there was a guy with a lizard and a cockatoo selling photo opportunities. Up to you if you take these, but before he started I saw him blowing smoke of some sort in the lizard's nostrils. Seemed unsavoury to me, but your call.

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Gyppo
Jan 11, 2015
 
 
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THE STATUE MISSING 2 RIGHT HANDS


In the grounds of St. Paul’s is a marble statue of St. Francis Xavier that was built in 1953. The first thing you notice is that the saint is missing his half of his right arm. St. Francis Xavier was a Catholic missionary who translated the Bible into Malay and was a pioneer in spreading Catholicism across Southeast Asia. During his lifetime it was said that he performed several miracles. He died 1552 and his body was temporarily placed in a burial vault here for nine months. In December 1553 his remains were moved to Goa in India.

His right forearm was used during his lifetime to bless and baptize his converts. In 1614 this was detached by Priest Gen.Claudio Acquaviva so it could be shipped to Rome. This was to allow the Pope to canonize (make a saint) St. Francis Xavier. Legend says that a miracle occurred and blood began to drip from the wound.

Now the story gets very interesting.

The current white marble statue was installed on 22nd March, 1953 to commemorate pioneering missionary work across Southeast Asia while based at Melaka from 1545 to 1552. The next day a large Casuarinas tree fell and snapped off St. Francis Xavier’s right arm! So he has lost his right arm twice!

The Feast of St. Francis Xavier is celebrated here every year, on the Sunday nearest to 3rd December, by thousands of pilgrims and devotees from across Southeast Asia.

DAO's Profile Photo
DAO
Aug 23, 2014

FORT ST JOHN AND ST PAULS CHURCH RUINS


The ruins of St. Paul’s Church are at the summit of St. Paul's Hill. It was built in 1521 on the site of the last Malaccan sultan’s istana (palace). It was constructed by Portuguese fidalgo (nobleman) captain, Duarte Coelho, in gratitude to the Virgin Mary for saving his life during a storm at sea. The Archbishop of Goa (India) turned over the church to the Jesuits in 1548. They moved the body of St. Francis Xavier in 1553 to Goa in 1556 added a second story which is still visible today. Between 1567 and 1596 the Portuguese garrison added gun turrets to the chapel and it became a fort as well. In 1590 a belfry tower was added the church was renamed the Igreja de Madre de Deus (Church of the Mother of God).

The Dutch invaded Malacca in 1641. St. Pauls was heavily damaged and the belfry tower was destroyed. The Dutch garrison repaired and reinforced the structure – turning it into an extension of the A’ Famosa Fort. The belfry tower was the only part not restored. They re-consecrated it as a Dutch Reformed Church and renamed it St. Paul’s Church and it was used as a Protestant church for about 112 years. When nearby Christ Church was completed in 1753, St. Pauls fell into disuse. When the British arrived in 1824 they added a lighthouse to replace the missing belfry and the complex became storehouse for gunpowder.

Today it is roofless and overgrown, but still has excellent views of Melaka and is very interesting to explore. The Feast of St. Francis Xavier is celebrated here by thousands of international pilgrims every year, on the Sunday nearest to 3rd December.

DAO's Profile Photo
DAO
Aug 23, 2014

Portuguese Grave Markers

again, starting in 1924, the local Malacca Historical Society excavated and unearthed old potuguese grave markers and marbel slabs and they arranged them inside the ruined church.

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.

machomikemd's Profile Photo
machomikemd
Jun 27, 2014

St. Francis Xavier Statue temporary burial place

this wil be my pictures of the more recent statue of Saint Francis Xavier and his temporary internment site inside the church.

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.

machomikemd's Profile Photo
machomikemd
Jun 27, 2014
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bpacker

"A Yeow Kwee (Glutton) in Melaka"
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mansionion

"Melaka - The Historical City of Malaysia"
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imstress

"Historical Town of Melaka (Malacca)"
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ukirsari

"malacca, a smal historical city"
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Azri_Azmi

"My Melaka"
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Another Part of the Portuguese Heritage

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.

machomikemd's Profile Photo
machomikemd
Jun 27, 2014

The ruins of St Paul's Church.

After visiting the maritime museum we retraced our steps and climbed up St Paul's Hill to the ruins of St. Paul's Church. There are good views over Melaka from here.

St. Paul's Church started off as a small chapel called the Chapel of the Mother of God.

The Chapel of the Mother of God was originally built by a Portuguese administrator called Duarte Coelho. He built it to give thanks to God after his miraculous escape from a tempest in the South China Sea.

In 1548, the chapel was passed on to the Society of Jesus by the archbishop of Goa, Don Albuquerque. St Francis Xavier was given the title deeds on behalf of the Society.

The Dutch later took over the chapel. They reconsecrated it into a Dutch Reformed Church and called it St. Paul's Church. For the following 112 years the Dutch worshiped here, until they built Christ Church at the foot of the hill. St. Paul's Church was then abandoned.

When the British took over Malacca in 1824 the Church was used as a storehouse for British gun powder.

In front of the church there is a Statue of St. Francis Xavier. This was placed here in 1954. The statue is missing one arm which is ironic as St Francis Xavier's body was buried in Goa, but his arm removed and taken to Rome as a holy relic.

Inside the church there are many gravestones with interesting markings. When I arrived initially a tour group had just descended on the church. They were all posing for photos with the tombstones and it was pretty crowded and unpleasant. When they all left, I re-entered and had a look at the tombstones. They were written in Dutch but with translations provided. Many had lovely carvings.

There were no attendants looking after the church, but there were stall holders, buskers, a man carrying a cockatoo and a huge lizard and charging for photos with them. One guy who had made drawings of the tombstones started covering the stones with signs saying no-one could take photos of the stones, taking photos was stealing and instead they had to pay him for a picture. I deliberately took photos right in front of him as I was disgusted by him sticking things all over the grave stones and by his pathetic attempt to make money.

On the walk down the hill I visited the small Dutch cemetery, mercifully peaceful after the circus at the top of the hill. It is well worth visiting, but is nowadays way too touristy.

IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
IreneMcKay
Nov 26, 2013

Gravestones of St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church had some lovey gravestones inside with carvings of sailing ships or skulls and cross bones. I was pleased that there was an English translation of the Dutch writing on the tomb stones. There were also several tomb stones and a little Dutch cemetery as I walked down to the famous gate.

IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
IreneMcKay
Oct 19, 2013

St. Paul's Church

The Catholic church of St. Paul was built in 1521 and was the main church of the flourishing Portuguese stelling. When the Dutch conquered it in 1641, it became a Dutch Reformed church and continued to be use, until the Christ Church at stadhuys square was finished in 1753. Then, St. Paul's church was deconsecrated and used as a graveyard. The church building itself fell into decay and the situation did not become better when the British used it as a gundpowder storehouse. Next to the building itself, the Dutch 17th century gravestones are of interest. One of them is the gravestone of Maria van Riebeeck, wife of the famous founder of Cape Town. The statue of St. Francis Xavier was placed in front of the church in 1952 to commemorate his arrival in Melaka 400 years before. The day after the statue was unveiled, a tree fell on the statue cutting off his right hand. St. Francis Xavier's right hand was indeed cut off after his death to serve as a relic, but that happened centuries before...

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Airpunk
Mar 31, 2013

Things to Do Near Melaka

Things to Do

The Sultan's Palace

Near the Porta de Santiago there is a replica of a 15th century Melaka sultan's palace. The palace is wooden and built entirely without nails. Entry was only 2RM and the palace was open from 9am to...
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Things to Do

Jonker's Walk

We eventually got back to Dutch Square and walked across the bridge over the river onto Jonker's Walk. This street is famous for shopping and has some lovely old Melakan buildings. There was a Chinese...
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Things to Do

River Walkway

This riverside walkway did not exist on our first visit to Melaka. It is a great asset to the town as Melaka's non-stop traffic and frequent absense of pavements can get on your nerves. Here you can...
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Things to Do

Transport Park

I don't really know what to call this area, but on the walk back from Porta de Santiago near the architecture museum we passed a park with old trains, aeroplanes and even a bullock cart. Lots of...
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Things to Do

Kampung Kling Mosque

Kampung Kling Mosque can be found halfway along Jalan Tokong in Chinatown and the original wooden one was constructed in 1748, but it is not like a Middle Eastern mosque as the architectural style was...
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Things to Do

Princess Hang Li Poh's well

The Hang Li Poh's well was dug by an order of Sultan Mansor Shah of Melaka in 1459 especially for his wife Hang Li Poh, a Chinese princess. The water from this well was used for her daily ne
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