Melaka - Historical City

Malacca Travel Blog

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History of Melaka

Melaka, where it all began..

Melaka (Malacca) was founded by a prince from Sumatra, named Parameswara in the 14th century. It was told that the Prince as out hunting one day and while resting under a tree, one of his dogs cornered a mouse-deer. The mouse-deer in its defence attacked the dog and even forced it into the river-water. Parameswara was so taken up by the courage of the mouse-deer that he decided on the spot to found a city on the ground he was sitting on. The name is from the 'Melaka' tree that was shading him. As time went on, Melaka grew bigger and bigger and became more and more prosperous. Melaka progressed into a booming international trading post, luring over Javanese, Indian, Arab and Chinese sea-merchants.

Parameswara (also known as Sultan Iskandar Syah) was the first Malay prince to become a Muslim and subsequently, Islam became the religion of Malays in the Peninsular (now West Malaysia).

Melaka's fame and wealth not long after caught the attention of the expansionist Europeans with the Portuguese becoming the first to arrive and eventually going on to conquer the land in 1511,  led by Alfonso d'Albuquerque.

The Portuguese stayed on for 130 years and then after the Dutch captured Melaka from the Portuguese in 1641.

From 1826 to 1946 Malacca was governed by the British. It formed part of the Straits Settlements together with Singapore and Penang.

Taming Sari tower and Eye on Malaysia
Melaka and Penang then became part of the Malayan Union, which later became Malaysia.

The Legend of Hang Tuah

Hang Tuah is a legendary Malay hero, greatest of all the laksamana (admirals), lived in the Sultanate of Malacca, Sultan Mansur Shah reign in the 15th century. Together with his four childhood friends – Hang Jebat, Hang Kasturi, Hang Lekir and Hang Lekiu, they became members of the Sultan's royal guard.

Hang Tuah’s kris is named after Taming Sari, a Majapahit warrior, is the kris bestowed upon him after he dueled with Taming Sari and won over.


Sights and Attractions


The sights and attraction areas are within walking distance from Dataran Pahlawan (Warrior Square) in Melaka town :


·         Replica of Melaka Sultanate Palace

The palace houses the Malacca Cultural Museum, which includes many artifacts of the Sultanate.

Clock Tower


·         A’ Famosa

Once a fortress built by the Portuguese, it has suffered severe destruction during the Dutch invasion. What is left today is just the entrance walls.


·         St. Paul’s Church

On top of St. Paul's Hill is the St. Paul's Church, once church of the Portuguese Catholics, then turned into burial ground for their noble dead by the Dutch.

The British constructed a light house in front of the church.

Stadhuys Square

St. Paul's Hill offer a great panorama of Melaka town and the Straits of Malacca


·         Standhuys Square     

The Stadhuys, Red Clock Tower and Christ Church, of Dutch Architecture

The Stadhuys was the official residence of the Dutch Governor, it now houses the Historic Museum and Ethnography Museum.

Nearby is the Christ Church built in 1753.

Maritime Museum


·         Maritime Museum

Constructed after ‘Flora de la Mar’, the Portuguese ship that sank off the Coast of Malacca on its way to Portugal. At the museum, visitor can get a closer look at Malacca from the famed Malay Sultanate of the 14th century to the Portuguese era, the Dutch era and the British era. There are exhibits of foreign ships that had once called at the port of Malacca during the height of its maritime hegemony.


·         Taming Sari Revolving Observation Tower and Eye on Malaysia

·         Melaka river cruise


·        Jalan Hang Jebat / Jonker Street

Street of baba-nyonya heritage.

Heritage building @ Jonker St

Peranakan / Baba-Nyonya are community of decedent from Chinese and Malay marriage when Chinese Empire presented Princess Hang Li Poh to Sultan Mansur Shah (reigned 1456 – 1477) to enhance relations between the two empire. After Li Poh's marriage, some 500 handmaidens accompanying the princess were also married off to Malay court officials.


The buildings are immaculately constructed with elaborate carvings on its pillars and walls.

The street is famous for its antique shops. There are also boutique hotels, restaurants and cafes and shops with intricate decor.

On Saturday night, the street is turned into a vibrant night market.


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Taming Sari tower and Eye on Malay…
Taming Sari tower and Eye on Mala…
Clock Tower
Clock Tower
Stadhuys Square
Stadhuys Square
Maritime Museum
Maritime Museum
Heritage building @ Jonker St
Heritage building @ Jonker St
photo by: louise2553