Monday, July 13, 2009

HISTORICAL PLACES

12:32 AM

A replica of the Melaka Sultanate palace was reconstructed at the foot of St. Paul's Hill. The design is based on the description of the palace from the sixteenth-century 'Malay Annals,' or 'Sejarah Melayu.' It is the only building of its kind in Malaysia, and it provides a rare glimpse of the ancient Malay kingdom that once flourished here. The palace houses the Malacca Cultural Museum, which includes many artifacts of that kingdom. .

St Paul's Hill On top of St. Paul's Hill is the St. Paul's Church, once the prayer house of the Portuguese Catholics, then turned into burial ground for their noble dead by the Dutch. The tombstones have Latin and Portuguese inscriptions on them. St. Francis Xavier was buried here in 1553 before his body was moved to Goa in India.
After the Portuguese captured Melaka, they built a fortress to defend themselves. The fortress, called A'Famosa suffered severe destruction during the Dutch invasion. What's left today is just the entrance walls, still well preserved till today A Famosa
The Stadthuys - Dutch Square The Stadthuys (1650) was the official residence of the Dutch Governor. It now houses the Historic Museum and Ethnography Museum which has many traditional bridal costumes and relics on display. Nearby, one will also find the Christ Church built in 1753, another fine example of the Dutch architecture.

During the peak of the Malacca Sultanate, the Sultan was gifted the Princess Hang Li Poh by the China Emperor. Her entourage settled in Bukit China (Chinese Hill). Today, Bukit China is believed to be the largest Chinese cemetery outside China, with many tombs dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Hang Li Poh's followers built a well in 1459 that is said to have never dried up. Today, the well is turned into a wishing well and many believe those who toss coins into the well will return again to Malacca.

The Kampung Keling Mosque is one of the oldest in the country (17th century). It's a blend of Sumatran and Western architecture with a 3 tier pyramid roof, a touch of Hindu influence perhaps. The carved wooden ceiling is supported by elegant Corinthian-styled columns. kampung kling mosque
Cheng Hoon Teng temple Another well preserved building, the Cheng Hoon Teng temple was constructed in 1645 and is believed to be the oldest Chinese temple in the country. The eaves of the temple are decorated with Mythological figures and animation made from broken glass and porcelain. Besides the figures, the wood carvings and lacquer work are almost breath-taking.

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