Melaka is located on the Western Coast of Peninsular Malaysia facing the Straits of Melaka, about 147 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur and 245 kilometers from Singpore. Melaka is actually found sandwiched between the states of Negeri Sembilan and Johor. It can be reached by excellent roads from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Internally it is serviced by a very good network of roads leading to all the historical places of interest. It covers and area of 658 square kilometers and is divided into three districts namely Alor Gajah, Melaka Tengah and Jasin.
Melaka was founded by Parameswara (or Raja Iskandar) the last Malay ruler of Temasik (ancient Singapore) in 1396 when he and his followers retreated up the straits to Muar, then to Sungai Ujung before settling at Bertam near the estuary of Melaka River.
Finding the place of strategic location, he decided to make a permanent settlement there, naming it "Melaka" after the name of the tree he leaned against.
The Melaka Sultanate occupies a special position in the history of Malaysia. Its inauguration marked the beginning of the emergence of a new Malay empire. The birthplace of the Malay Sultanates and Malaysia's historic city, Melaka provided the stage on which the Portuguese, Dutch and English played out their roles in shaping the history.
Melaka emerged as a strong maritime trading state under the industrious Parameswara and his chiefs. Melaka also began to be noticed by Muslim traders from West Asia and India, who until that period, had been concentrating their activities in Aru, Pedir and Pasai en-route to the East, especially China. Because of its strategic location straddling the Straits of Melaka, it thrived as a port-of-call and a centre of entrepot trade with ships and merchants from China, Japan, India, Arab and South Africa.
In 1511, it fell to the hands of the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch in 1641 after a fierce battle. In 1795, Melaka was given to the British to prevent it falling to the French when the Netherlands was captured during the Napoleonic Wars. It was returned to the Dutch in 1818 under the treaty of Vienna but was later exchanged by the British for Bangkahulu, Sumatra. From 1826 onwards, the British East India Company along with Singapore and Penang governed it, under the Straits Settlement administration in Calcutta.
The Dutch, who held Melaka for over a century, left many fine buildings marking their heritage. The most imposing relic of the Dutch period is the Stadthuys, a strikingly pink town hall which is today the oldest Dutch building in the Far East. Right next to it stands the bright red Christ Church, constructed with pink bricks imported from Holland and covered with local red lacerite. Today, these buildings together with the ruins of the Portuguese built A Famosa and St. Paul's Church are the most prominent reminders of the Europeans' presence in Melaka.
After World War II, anti-colonial sentiment bred in the country among the nationalists, the result of which was the proclamation of Independence by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Malaysia's first Prime Minister, at the Padang Pahlawan (Warrior's Field) at Bandar Hilir, Melaka on 20 February 1956.
The most famous of these has it that several hundred years ago, a beautiful and kind-hearted princess of the Sultanate of Malacca fell in love with a fisherman from Sumatra. When the fisherman had to return to Sumatra, he promised the princess that he would return to marry her.
Pulau Upeh formerly known as 'Liha Das Pedra' meaning places of stones. During the Second World War, Pulau Upeh was used as a look-out point for invading battleships in the Straits of Malacca. It is also believed that this island was a pirates stop-over and hide-out.
Hawksbill Turtle (Pulau Upeh), one of the Earth's rare species, the Hawksbill turtle is a medium-sized marine turtle with a hawklike beak and a thorny shell. Brown and lightly striped, these turtles find their ideal resting ground on the island of Upeh. The egglaying season is from March to June but visitors can expect to catch sight of at feast a few turtles every night throughout the year.
♥ A Famosa ♥
The fortress once consisted of long ramparts and four major towers. One was a four-story keep, while the others held an ammunition's storage room, the residence of the captain, and an officers' quarters. As the plan below shows, most of the village clustered in town houses inside the fortress walls. As Melaka's population expanded it outgrew the original fort and extensions were added around 1586. The fort changed hands in 1641 when the Dutch successfully drove the Portuguese out of Melaka. The Dutch renovated the gate in 1670, which explains the logo "ANNO 1670" inscribed on the gate's arch. Above the arch is a bas-relief logo of the Dutch East India Company.
Situated near Jalan Laksamana and Jalan Gereja in Melaka city. This is a churh built in 1753 by Dutch to commemorate a century of their rule. It is reputed as the oldest protestant church in Malaysia. It is now an Anglican Church. The building shows the ingenuity of the Dutch architectural world. The beams were constructed from cutting and carving from a single tree and have no joints. The hand-made pews dated back some 200 years. The altar is a beautiful piece of the 'Last Supper' done in glazed tiles.
♥ D - Paradise ♥
After 5 years of research, planning and development the result is D-Paradise Tropical Fruit World and Aboriginal Native Village. The World’s largest collections of tropical, landscaped garden full of fun, adventure and discovery.Assault your senses – see the fruit, smell them, pick and taste the wonderful varieties on offer. One of the many ‘must see’ attractions is the unique, authentic ‘live’ Aboriginal Village.
♥ Hang Jebat's Mausoleum ♥
Hang Jebat was the champion of justice who died a tragic death. Hang Jebat was unceremoniously killed by Hang Tuah in a duel of honour that lasted 3 days and 3 nights. He ran amuck after suffering a fatal wound from Hang Tuah's dagger 'Keris Taming Sari.' In the name of justice to avenge the Sultan's hasty punishment against Hang Tuah for a crime he didn't commit. Hang Jebat was accused by Hang Tuah of 'derhaka' (contumacy). The duel between two of Malacca's most prominent knights has left a permanent question as to the moral behind Hang Jebat's aberrant reaction against authority and the conventions by which Hang Tuah exercised his conduct as a loyal subject of the Sultan.
♥ Hang Li Poh's Well ♥
Infocraft Melaka is the handicraft promotion centre where quality products such as batik, canes, bamboo, ceramics and other wares are carefully selected as exhibits based on workmanship and design. Made by local craftsmen, the products can be purchased as souvenirs. The centre also has an archive corner to enlighten visitors on the subject local handicraft.
♥ Jonker Street ♥
A definite haven for antique collectors and bargain hunters. Authentic artifacts and relics. some dating as far back as 300 years, can be found among a host of interesting collectibles, each with its own history and mystery. Jalan Hang Jebat, formerly known as Jonker Street, is known worldwide among famous antique collectors as one of the best places to hunt and bargain for antiques.
♥ Maritime Museum ♥
Facing the palace is the Historic City Memorial Garden. An intriguing monument to commemorate the declaration of Malacca as a Historic City is the showpiece of this garden. The monument is topped with a replica of a Malay royal headress, a symbol of Malaysians' allegiance to the throne.
♥ St. Francis Xavier's Church ♥
St. Francis Xavier, the great missionary to the East, arrived in Malacca in 1545 and served the sick and the children there. He left shortly afterwards, but came back to the town in 1547, when a military victory was attributed to him. He travelled to many countries and stopped by Malacca whenever he was around the region. His fame spread far throughout Asia.
In 1574, the saint died in a ship before he could reach China, a place that he was anxious to Christianize. People found his body perfectly incorrupt, and sailed it to Malacca. People in Malacca were in deep mourning at the funeral. On the day of the funeral, the saint, after his life on earth, performed a miracle and stopped a plague that had been causing many deaths every day.
The body of St. Francis Xavier was later shipped to Goa in India, after parts of the relics were stolen or taken by different people. Today, most of his remains still rests in the Basilica of Bom-Jesus in Old Goa. He is the patron of the Indies and is called "the apostle of the East".
The present St. Francis Xavier Church was completed in 1856.
♥ St. Paul's Church ♥Built by a Portuguese captain by it name of Duarte Coetho, the chapel wi turned by the Dutch into a burial ground for their noble dead and renamed it 'St. Paul's Church from the Portuguese's "Our Lady Of The Hill".
St. Francis Xavier was briefly enshrined in the open grave in 1553 before being shipped to Goa, India.
Baba and Nyonya are Chinese of noble descendants that have adopted much of the Malay culture into theirs. They are also known as 'Straits-born Chinese' or 'Peranakans'. The public can now view the heirloom unique to this heritage at the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum (a private museum) run by the Babas and Nyonyas of Melaka at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock.
♥ Stadthuys ♥
Situated in Melaka city. The Dutch Square is famous for its red-painted buildings. It has a display of many unique Dutch mansonry and architectural skills. The Stadthuys, in the Dutch Square, was built in 1650, it is a typical Dutch building with a clock tower. It was once an official home to the Dutch Governors. It has been preserved in its original Dutch architectural form. It is also a historic museum and houses some interesting display of traditional bridal costumes and relics, and others. There are within the square, the Queen Victoria's fountain built in 1901 and Melaka Clock Tower built in 1886.
By Suet Teng , 5 Alpha