Thursday, August 25, 2011

Malacca City - Malaysia

Malacca City is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Malacca. The Seri Negeri, the State Administrative and Development Centre which houses the Chief Minister's Office, the State Secretary's Office and the Legislative Assembly Hall are located in Malacca City. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with George Town of Penang on 7 July 2008.

The city of Malacca is located on both sides of the Malacca River near its mouth into the Strait of Malacca. The historic central area of the city is located near the old coastline, includes St Paul's Hill with the ruins of the Portuguese fortress, A Famosa and the Dutch Square on the right (eastern) bank of the river, and the old Chinatown on the left (western) bank. The modern city has grown in all directions from this historic core, including to the south (because the present coastline of the Strait of Malacca is somewhat farther down to the south than its original location due to land reclamation). The "Chinese Hill" (Bukit Cina), where a large old Chinese cemetery is located, was formerly located to the northeast of the town, but now is surrounded by the city on all sides. Malacca river winding its way through the old town and the city centre.

The site where the city of Malacca stands today was the center of Malaccan history. It was the capital of the Malacca Sultanate and was the centre of the Malay world in the 15th and the 16th century after the Malays moved over from Sumatra and was the most prosperous EntrepĂ´t and city of the Malay Archipelago before it fell to the hand of Portuguese in 1511. Centuries of colonization by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British as well as development of Straits Chinese (Peranakan) culture have influenced the architecture of the town, notably the Portuguese A Famosa, Dutch Stadthuys, and the Dutch, Chinese and British influenced traditional town houses.
Since the founding of Singapore in 1819, Malacca has been in decline as its port was silting up and Singapore and Kuala Lumpur have grown. Over the years, many Malaccans have moved to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital.

After World War II, anti-colonial sentiment developed amongst Malay nationalists which led to negotiations with the British and eventually the announcement of Independence by Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's first Prime Minister, at the Padang Pahlawan (Warrior's Field) at Bandar Hilir, in Melaka on 20 February 1956.
The British in Penang were temporary caretakers of the then Dutch-controlled Malacca during the Napoleonic Wars. However, they were reluctant to hand Malacca back because they feared it might jeopardize the development of their new settlement in Penang. Hence they decided to destroy the regional influence of Malacca by diverting trade away from Malacca to Penang, the British planned to destroy the Malacca Fort and its city and move the 15,000 people to Penang. It was envisaged that Malacca would not rival Penang in terms of trade when the Kew treaty of 1975 expires which orders the returning of Malacca back to Dutch hands if the city was demolished and depopulated.
The Governor of Penang ordered Captain William Farquhar to have the respective fort demolished in 1807. However during this time, Stamford Raffles who hails from Penang arrived in Malacca for his sick leave. He managed to rescind the demolition and depopulation process with the consent of Lord Minto, the Governor General of India. Raffles managed to save the archway of the Malacca Fort which can be seen to this day. The destruction of the Malacca Fort cost 70,000 sterling pounds and involved several hundred workers.

Most tourist attractions are concentrated in its small city centre which encompasses Jonker Walk which houses Malacca's traditional Chinatown that exhibits Peranakan architecture. A Famosa Fort, St. Paul Hill are among the tourist attractions located in the Bandar Hilir, old city area. There are also numerous shopping centres located nearby. The Malacca Straits Mosque is located here. There are numerous islands which include Pulau Upeh near Klebang Beach (currently undergoing reclamation works) and Pulau Besar.

European settlement
  • A Famosa fortress (Porta de Santiago) is a Portuguese fortress located in Malacca. It is among the oldest surviving European architectural remains in Asia. The Porta de Santiago, a small gate house, is the only remaining part of the fortress still standing.
  • Christ Church is an 18th century Protestant church in the city of Malacca. It is the oldest functioning Protestant church in Malaysia and is within the jurisdiction of the Lower Central Archdeaconry of the Anglican Diocese of West Malaysia.
  • The Stadthuys (Dutch administrative buildings), also known as the Red Square, is a historical structure situated in the heart of Malacca Town, the administrative capital of the state of Malacca, Malaysia. It was built by the Dutch occupants in 1650 as the office of the Dutch Governor and Deputy Governor.
  • Saint Francis Xavier Church
  • Portuguese Settlement is a Kristang community in Ujong Pasir, five km from Malacca City. The Kristang are a Malaysian ethnic group with mixed Portuguese and Malay and for some possibly Indian or Chinese ancestry, which arose during the Portuguese colonial period (16th to 17th century).
  • St. John's Fort (Kota Senjuang)
  • Ruins of St. Paul Church - Saint Francis Xavier was temporarily buried here; tombs of many Dutch dignitaries remain there. St. Paul's Church is a historic church building in Malacca that was originally built in 1521. It is located at the summit of St. Paul's Hill and is today part of the Malacca Museum Complex comprising of the A Famosa ruins, the Stadthuys and other historical buildings.
  • St. Peter Church
  • St. Theresa Church
  • Victoria Fountain
Chinese settlement
  • Bukit Cina cemetery
  • Cheng Hoon Teng temple ("Temple of Green Cloud") is a Taoist temple, located at No. 25 Jalan Tokong, Malacca Town. It is the oldest functioning temple in Malaysia. The Cheng Hoon Teng is situated close to Jalan Tukang Emas, also known as "Harmony Street" because of its proximity to the Kampung Kling Mosque and Sri Poyatha Moorthi Temple. The richly decorated Cheng Hoon Teng temple covers an area of 4,600 m2.
  • Geok Hu Keng temple
  • Poh San Teng temple
  • Jonker Street
Indian settlement
  • Sri Poyyatha temple
Malay settlement
  • Hang Jebat mausoleum
  • Hang Kasturi mausoleum
  • Kampong Morten
  • Kampung Kling mosque (sometimes also spelt Kampung Keling Mosque) is an old mosque in Malacca.
  • Tranquerah mosque
  • Malacca Straits Mosque (Malay: Masjid Selat Melaka), a modern mosque on the shore of Malacca Island, is a mosque located on the man-made Malacca Island near Malacca Town in Malacca state. It looks like a floating structure if the water level is high. Construction cost of the mosque is about MYR10 million. The Opening Ceremony was done in 24 November 2006 by the Supreme Ruler of Malaysia (Yang di-Pertuan Agong) Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail.
  • Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum is a museum located in Malacca. The building is a modern reconstruction of the palace of the sultans of Malacca. It showcases the history of the region.
Malacca’s weather is hot and humid throughout the year with rainfall, the intensity of which depends on the time of the year. Malacca features tropical rainforest climate, under the Koppen climate classification. The relatively stable weather allows Malacca to be visited all-year-round. Temperatures generally range between 30°C - 35°C during the day and 27°C - 29°C at night. It may get cooler after periods of heavy rainfall.

Generally, Malacca annual rainfall is below average of Malaysia annual rainfall. Usually, it rains in the evening after hot and humid afternoon. Malacca enjoys much sunlight during the day so it’s always warm and inviting to walk around the city. Ensure you wear light clothing, as the humidity can high and sunglasses are also quite useful.



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