Malacca (sometimes spelled Melacca or Melaka) is the third smallest state in Malaysia and located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula. Malacca City as the state capital is well-known as the 'Historical City of Malaysia'. The town has fascinating examples of Dutch, Portuguese, Islamic and Chinese architecture all throughout its street. Making this wonderful place an interesting town along with its history.
The town of Malacca is small and easy to navigate on foot. As I walked around the town everyday, I noticed that Malacca is filled with past events, that it seems like I'm walking in a large museum filled with walkways, buildings, gardens and handicrafts. Everything that this town possessed contains a very interesting story behind it. No wonder why the town has been listed as one of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.
Here are some of the interesting places to see in Malacca:
Christ Church was built in 1753. Located close to Chinatown center, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Stadthuys area. This church along with Stadthuys, the official residence of the Dutch Governor and now houses the Historic Museum and Ethnographical Museum is a fine example of Dutch architecture. Outside the church are colorful rickshaws decorated with flowers.
Later on, when the British took over Malacca they added a weathercock and bell to Christ Church and transformed it from a Protestant church into an Anglican one. Entrance into the basilica is free.
Maritime Museum and Naval Museum
Malacca Maritime Museum is opened to the public in 1994. This museum with a unique design is an informative trip back into Malacca's past. The outer structure of the museum is a replica of the Flor de la Mar, a Portuguese ship said to have been carrying loot plundered items from Malacca when it sank off the coast of Malacca on its way back to Portugal.
Jonker's Street is a small street in Chinatown in the city center and once a richman's street. The buildings here are designed with elaborate carvings on its pillars and walls. The street is also famous for its antique shops and at nights, this street transform into a night market.
St. Paul Church
On top of St. Paul Hill is the St. Paul Church. It was built on the site of the last Malaccan Sultan's palace. Captain Duarte Coelho, a Portuguese nobleman, ordered the construction of the church in gratitude to the Virgin Mary for saving his life during a storm at sea. After being a prayer house of the Portuguese Catholics, it turned into burial ground for their noble dead by the Dutch. The tombstones have Latin and Portuguese inscriptions on them. One of the prominent person buried here was St. Francis Xavier in 1553 but his remain was moved to Goa, India.
Malacca River Cruise
This river was the main artery of trade for Malacca in its heyday when it was bustling with traders from all around the world. It was once dubbed as the 'Venice of the East' by European seafarers. Now, the river is a popular attraction primarily because of the 45-minute river cruise. Some buildings from that era still stand majestically by the river along with old villages and modern day buildings. All in all, the Malacca river spans a distance of 10 km.
St. Francis Xaviers Church
St. Francis Xavier's Church was built in 1849 by French priest. In 1856, the twin-spired neo-gothic structure was built on the site of an old Portuguese church in honor of St. Francis Xavier, well-remembered for his missionary work spreading Catholicism in South East Asia. Until now, it still serves its function as a Catholic church.