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MALACCA

The Historical City of Malacca or Melaka as it is locally known or sometimes malaka, is the second smallest state after Perlis in Malaysia. The state of Melaka covers an area of 1,650-sq. km. with a population of approximately three quarter of a million, consisting the predominant Malays, followed by the Chinese, Indians, Portuguese descendants, Straits-born Chinese and Eurasians. The state is divided into 3 districts namely Melaka Tengah, Alor Gajah and Jasin. Malacca is located about 148 km. south of Kuala Lumpur and 245 km north of Singapore and commanding a central position on the Straits of Malacca. Malacca City which is strategically located between the two capital is linked with excellent roads and highways, Malacca has no train station and the nearest one is located in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. It has an airport located at Batu Berendam about 8 km away. The City Of Malacca has twin city status with five cities in the world namely, Lisbon, Portugal (16 January 1984), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (15 April 1989), Hoorn, Netherlands (8 November 1989), Valparaiso, The Republic of Chile (23 June 1991), and Nanjing, China (2001).



The History of Malacca

The history of Malacca is largely the story of the city for which it is named, and the story of the city of Malacca begins with the fascinating and partly legendary tale of the Hindu prince Parameswara.

The Malay Annals relate that Parameswara was a fourteenth-century Palembang prince who, fleeing from a Javanese enemy, escaped to the island of Temasik (present-day Singapore) and quickly established himself as its king. Shortly afterward, however, Parameswara was driven out of Temasik by an invasion by the Siamese, and with a small band of followers set out along the west coast of the Malay peninsula in search of a new refuge. The refugees settled first at Muar, Johor, but they were quickly driven away by a vast and implacable horde of monitor lizards; the second spot chosen seemed equally unfavorable, as the fortress that the refugees began to build fell to ruins immediately. Parameswara moved on. Soon afterward, during a hunt near the mouth of a river called Bertam, he saw a white mouse-deer or pelanduk kick one of his hunting dogs. So impressed was he by the mouse-deer's brave gesture that he decided immediately to build a city on the spot. He asked one of his servants the name of the tree under which he was resting and, being informed that the tree was called a Malaka, gave that name to the city. The year was 1400.

Although its origin is as much romance as history, the fact is that Parameswara's new city was situated at a point of tremendous strategic importance. Midway along the straits that linked China to India and the Near East, Malacca was perfectly positioned as a center for maritime trade. The city grew rapidly, and within fifty years it had become a wealthy and powerful hub of international commerce, with a population of over 50,000. It was during this period of Malacca's history that Islam was introduced to the Malay world, arriving along with Gujarati traders from western India. By the first decade of the sixteenth century Malacca was a bustling, cosmopolitan port, attracting hundreds of ships each year. The city was known worldwide as a center for the trade of silk and porcelain from China; textiles from Gujarat in India; camphor from Borneo; sandalwood from Timor; nutmeg, mace, and cloves from the Moluccas, gold and pepper from Sumatra; and tin from western Malaya.
Unfortunately, this fame arrived at just the moment when Europe began to extend its power into the East, and Malacca was one of the very first cities to attract its covetous eye. The Portuguese under the command of Afonso de Albuquerque arrived first, taking the city after a sustained bombardment in 1511. The Sultan Mahmud fled to Johor, from whence the Malays counterattacked the Portuguese repeatedly though without success. One reason for the strength of the Portuguese defence was the construction of the massive fortification of A Famosa or Porta De Santiago, only a small portion of which survives today.

A Famosa ensured Portuguese control of the city for the next one hundred and fifty years, until, in 1641, the Dutch after an eight-month siege and a fierce battle. Malacca was captured, but it lay in almost complete ruin. Over the next century and a half, the Dutch rebuilt the city and occupied it largely as a military base, using its strategic location to control the Straits of Malacca. In 1795, when the Netherlands was captured by French Revolutionary armies, Malacca was handed over to the British by the Dutch to avoid capture by the French. Although they returned the city to the Dutch in 1808, it was soon given over to the British once again in a trade for Bencoleen, Sumatra. From 1826, the English East India Company in Calcutta ruled the city, although it experienced Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945. Independence did not arrive until 1957, when anti-colonial sentiment culminated in a proclamation of independence by His Highness Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, Malaysia's first Prime Minister.


Historical & Places of Interest in Malacca

A Famosa
, the hallmark of Malacca and perhaps the most photographed subject next to the Stadhuys. Built by the Portuguese in 1511 as a fortress it sustained severe structural damage during the Dutch Invasion. The British East India Company had set to destroy it but timely intervention by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1808 saved what remains of A Famosa today.

The Stadhuys, built in 1650 as the official residence of Dutch Governors and their officers, the edifice is a fine example of Dutch architecture. Preserved in its original structure and form , it now houses the Historic Museum and Ethnography Museum. On display daily are fine traditional bridal costumes and relics from Malacca's glorious past.

Hang Jebat and Hang Kasturi's mausoleum. Two of the Malacca Sultanate's well-known warriors and champion of justice. Hang Jebat was unceremoniously killed by Hang Tuah in a duel of honour that lasted 3 days and 3 nights. He was killed in the name of justice to avenge the sultan's hasty punishment against Hang Jebat for a crime he did not commit.

Hang Tuah's well is located in Kampung Duyong where Hang Tuah was born and spent his childhood among four of his good friends who would later become the famous warriors of Malacca Sultanate.

Sam Po Kong Temple was constructed in dedication to Admiral Cheng Ho. The temple was named after a fish that miraculously saved the admiral's ship from sinking after it had been hit by a storm enroute to Malacca from China. The fish mysteriously placed itself against a damaged hull preventing the ship from taking on water.

St. Francis Xavier's Church was built in 1849 by a frenchman, Reverend Farve. The Gothic towered church is dedicated to St. Francis Xavier, well-remembered for his missionary work spreading Catholicism to South East Asia in the 16th century.

St. John's Fort was rebuilt by the Dutch during the third quarter of the 18 th century, the fort was once a private Portuguese chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The fort has an interesting feature in that its gun embrasures face inland as during that time, attacks on Malacca came mainly from the land instead of from the sea.

St. Peter's Church was built in 1710 by the Portuguese descendants and comprising an architectural mix of the Oriental and Occidental. St. Paul's Church, built by a Portuguese Captain by the name of Duarte Coelho, the chapel was 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'. Saint Francis Xavier was briefly enshrined in the open grave in 1553 before being shipped to Goa, India.

Dutch Graveyard, a war memorial dedicated to fine British officers and soldiers who died in the Naning War (1831-1832).

Christ Church, standing exactly as it has always been since 1753, the church is testimony to Dutch architectural ingenuity. Commenced in 1741 to commemorate a century of Dutch rule and took 12 years to complete.

Malacca's Sultanate Palace, built based on the description and reference to the palace in 'Sejarah Melayu’(the Malay Annals), the wooden replica houses the Cultural Museum of Malacca.

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.

Hang Li Poh Well, built in 1459 by the followers of Hang Li Poh, the Chinese princess who married the Sultan of Malacca. Situated at the foot of Bukit China it is the oldest well in Malacca. The well never dried up during days of old and was the only source of water supply during great droughts.

Hang Jebat's Mausoleum, Hang Jebat the champion of justice who died a tragic death. Hang Tuah in a duel of honour that lasted 3 days and 3 nights unceremoniously killed him.

Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple
: It is one of the first Hindu temple in Malaysia. Built in 1781 on the plot given by the Dutch. The central alter is dedicated to Vinayagar, represented by an elephant's head carved from Indian black stone.

Peringgit Mosque, constructed during the Portuguese Occupancy Masjid Peringgit is believed to be the oldest mosque in Melaka.

Kampung Kling's Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in the country with Sumatran architectural features. Instead of a conventional dome, a three-tier roof rising like a pyramid is in place. A minaret peculiar in shape from a typical Moorish style is structured like a Pagoda portraying the mixture of East- West architectural influence.

Bukit China : This is the largest Chinese burial ground outside of China. With its size of 26 hecteres with 12,500 graves and consisting of three sections, namely Bukit Tempurong, Bukit Gedong, and Bukit China.

Franciscan Monastery "Madre De Deus" , during the Portuguese occupation a Franciscan Monastery and a Chapel was built dedicated to "Madre de Deus" (Mother of God) on top of Bukit China It was founded in 1581 by Fr. Francisco Pisaro, an Italian Franciscan who came from Macau. The Monastery was destroyed by the Achinese in 1629 when they attacked Malacca.

The Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum, 'Straits Chinese' or the Baba and Nyonya , are Chinese of noble descendants that have adopted much of the Malay culture into theirs. The fusion of culture resulted in distinctives styles of architecture, language, furniture, cuisine and clothing.

Chetty Village, in Jalan Gajah Berang is a Hindu community whose ancestors came to Malacca during the 15th century.

Maritime Museum, the Museum was constructed after the 'Flora De La Mar', the Portuguese ship that sank off the Coast of Malacca on its way to Portugal. With its hull laden with invaluable treasures seized from Malacca, the ship was doomed from existence had it not for the efforts to Malacca's heritage.

Cheng Hoon Teng's Temple, the oldest Chinese temple in the country. Cheng Hoon Teng translated as "The Abode of the Green Merciful Clouds". It was built in 1646 by Lee Wei King with materials shipped out of China.

Hang Kasturi's Mausoleum, a mausoleum built in memory of the great Malay Hero Hang Kasturi.

Al Azim Mosque , is a state mosque located at Bukit Palah, 2 km from Malacca city.

Kampung Hulu Mosque, built in 1728 by Dato Shamsudin during the Dutch ocupancy.

Tranquerah Mosque : Prominent in its architectural grandeur, the mosque is unique and bears testimony to the fact that Islam had its rightful place in Malacca almost 600 years ago.

The Ruins of the Church of Rosary : "The Ermida do Rosario" or "The Church of Rosary" was a Portuguese chapel, build about 1700. This church was built after the erection of St Peter's church located nearby and was in use until the end of the 19th century when it was abandoned.


Other Places of Interest and activities found in Malacca includes :

Portuguese Square, Independence Obelisk, Proclamation Of Independence Memorial, built in 1912, The Malacca Zoo, A'Famosa Water World, Light and Sound Display, Jasin's Museum, River Boat Cruise, Hawksbill turtle (Pulau Upeh), Peacock Paradise Bird Park, Alor Gajah's Museum, Bullock Cart Ride, Butterfly Farm, Auyin Hill Resort, Mini Malaysia, Mini ASEAN, Recreational Forest, Crocodile Farm, Dol Said Grave, Gadek Hot Spring, Dutch Fort, Hang Tuah's Mausoleum, Pulau Besar, Tun Teja's Mausoleum, Malacca Traditional House, Cape Rachado, the Trishaw Ride, grilled fish spot at Serkam and Pengkalan Pernu(Umbai) some 15 Km. and 10 km. respectively from Malacca,

Beaches and Islands around Malacca: Tanjong Kling: 15 km north of Malacca town, Tanjung Bidara: 35 km north or Malacca town, Pulau Besar: 4 km from Malacca. To get to the island, take a bus or a taxi to Umbai Jetty. Boats leave hourly to the island. Accommodation is available on the island.



Accommodations

Accommodation facilities available for the state of Malacca includes Riviera Bay Resort Malacca, Century Mahkota Hotel Malacca, Hotel Malacca Klebang Beach Resort, Naza Hotel Malacca and Semabok Inn Melaka.


Getting To Malacca

If you are in West Malaysia, the best way to travel to Malacca is by road via the North-SouthHighway from the KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) takes only a mere 90 minutes. If you are travelling from K.L., the journey is about 2 hours. From Johor Bahru heading north, it's only 2 1/2 hours away.
PLUSLiner operates daily Interstate Coaches from Kuala Lumpur to Seremban.

Malaysia Hotels Dot CC, brings you some of the best hotels in the state of Malacca. We bring to you Riviera Bay Resort Malacca, Century Mahkota Hotel Malacca, Hotel Malacca Klebang Beach Resort, Naza Hotel Malacca and Semabok Inn Melaka. We present them here comprehensively with factual information on all our participating hotels and resorts in the state of Malacca.

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KUALA LINGGI

MALACCA VILLAGE RETREAT
Originally an estate, Melaka Village Retreat welcomes you with a stable of horses exclusively bred for the view as you are escorted with a variety of tropical fruit trees and tall pines. 7 chalets welcome guests fully equipped with air-conditioning, water heater, fan, and basic chalet amenities. Views from the attached balcony of the chalets are richly filled with the beautiful green courtyard, tall shady trees, sand and sea as all the chalets face the courtyard which is directly in the view of the private beach and of course the Melaka straits. CLICK HERE


MALACCA CITY CENTRE

MAHKOTA HOTEL MELAKA  
Located on the waterfront in the heart of Melaka, adjacent to the Mahkota Parade shopping and entertainment complex and within short walking distance to the business hub of Melaka as well as the various historical places of interest. CLICK HERE


THE SETTLEMENT HOTEL MELAKA  
The Settlement Hotel Melaka seeks to capture and preserve Melaka's illustrious history, and to weave our guests through an evolution of cultures and hospitality. After two years of fervent restoration, the once tired-looking 1960’s 4-storey government building located at the fringe of the Portuguese Settlement along Jalan Ujong Pasir, World UNESCO Heritage City Melaka, has now come alive in the form of an intimate boutique hotel that showcases the unique intertwined cultures and the rich heritage of Melaka. CLICK HERE

 


SEMABOK

SEMABOK INN  
Semabok Inn offer rooms which are tastefully furnished with twin beds, television, self controlled air-conditioning unit, hot & cold showers, direct dial telephone and other basic ammenities. CLICK HERE

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