About Malacca and its History
150 km South of Kuala Lumpur, Malacca is the Historical center of Malaysia. As you stroll in the streets of Malacca, it really is something that can be felt, this place is full of History.
Malacca is thought to have been founded around the year 1400. The founder of Malacca was called Parameswara. He was the last king of Singapura (now Singapore), and he had to flee from the attack of an enemy empire. It is with Parameswara’s conversion to Islam that this religion arrived in the Malay Peninsula. It rapidly spread in and became the official religion in this region.
Across History, Europeans got increasingly interested in Malacca. Eventually, the Portuguese are the first to seize the power over Malacca in 1511 and they will keep it for 130 years. They turned the city into a strong fortress. The ruins of a gate, known as A Famosa is all that now remains of that fortress.
In 1641, the Dutch took the control of Malacca. The most famous landmark that they left is called the Stadthuys (“City Hall”), better known as Red Square of Dutch Square. It was built in 1753.
On St. Paul’s Hill, where the Portuguese had built a small chapel, the Dutch launch the construction of the St. Paul’s Church in 1521. The tombstones of Dutch dignitaries are still present in the church.
When the British ruled Malacca from 1824, the church was totally abandoned, and the Portuguese fortress that the Dutch had extended, was destroyed (except for the small ruins of A Famosa).
Malacca was declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 2008, with the city of Georgetown on the island of Penang.
The last panorama shows the city of Malacca as seen from the Taming sari Tower, the first 360-degree revolving viewing tower in Malaysia. The 7-minute ride enables you to see the city from a height of 80 meters (262 feet). For more information, you can have a look at their official site.
Malacca is a pleasant city to explore for a couple days and most of its historical center can be visited on foot. Like in all cities in the world that were dominated by various countries in their history, it is interesting to see all the architectural influences mixed in the whole city. In an hour or two, you walk from a Chinese temple to a Dutch plaza to a Portuguese church.
The Legend Of The Foundation Of Malacca
The Prince Perameswara, who had to get away from Singapura after the attack of his kingdom, was hunting near a river. As he was sitting at the foot of a tree to rest, one of his hunting dogs managed to corner a small animal called a mouse-deer. Amazingly, the mouse-deer was very brave and pushed the dog back until it fell in the river.
Impressed by the mouse-deer’s reaction, Perameswara decided that it was the perfect place to found his new empire. As he was sitting under a Melaka tree (Phyllanthus emblica), he decided to call his empire Mekala: Malacca in Malay.