Melaka is a small state of Malaysia that covers not more than 1,664 km² area. This small state with population of around 800,000 in 2010 offers great hospitality to the visitors. You will find plenty of tourist attractions, best restaurants and shopping places here, but let us now introduce you to the aspect of Melaka that made it one of the world heritage sites of UNESCO. There are plenty of places to visit in Melaka that attract tourists, especially those interested in heritage & history.
Top 10 Historical places to visit in Melaka
Melaka has been ruled by Portuguese, Dutch, British & Japanese and every ruler has left their mark in the city. It is also strategically located on the straits of Malacca, which is the third largest strait in the world.
Here is our hand picked top 10 places to visit in Melaka with historical background. Read on as you will find it handy when in Melaka.
1. St Paul’s Hill
The St Paul’s Hill is surrounded by a lot of historical places and restaurants. You have to climb up the hill to see the St Paul’s Church which is one of the great historical places of the city and country. The Church was first constructed in 1521. The Church is today part of Malacca Museum Complex. The building was just a chapel in 1521, which the Christians of that time dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In the end of the sixteenth century the Church was renamed Igreja de Madre de Deus.
Due to rich heritage St Paul’s Hill is on the top among 10 best places to visit in Melaka.
2. St Peter’s Church
The St Peter’s Church was built in 1710 by the Portuguese Catholics. The building was completed in the Dutch reign. Being a world heritage site, it is the oldest Catholic Church in the country. People still visit the Church and attend sermons in the big halls. There is a bell in the Church that mentions that the building was erected in early seventeenth century. Do visit this historical place, you will also find an alabaster statue of the Christ.
3. Christ Church Melaka
A little younger than the other historical Churches in Melaka, the Christ Church was built in 1753. It is the Protestant Church located just near the St. Paul Hill. Captain of the Malacca Burghers, Abraham de Wind laid the foundation stone of the Church. It took around 12 years to complete the Church. After the completion of this Church, it became the primary Dutch Converted Church in Dutch Malacca replacing the Bovenkerk. The Red building adds to the elegance of the environment around even today.
Christ Church Melaka is in the city center which is best known as red square. You will not miss this among other places to visit in Melaka.
4. Syed Al Attas Mansion
This building reminds of the Muslim rule in Malacca. The Syed Al Attas Mansion was the building owned by Syed Mohammad Al Attas who was a Muslim opponent of the Dutch in late 1800. Today, the place serves as the Penang Islamic Museum. You may visit the museum between 9:30 am to 6:00 pm any day other than Tuesday. The place reflects the lifestyle of the Muslim rules of that time.
5. Heeren Street
The Heeren Street is located just near the Jonker Street in Melaka but it’s importance still stand. This place is one of the most important roads. The visitors to the Jonker Walk also visit this place and visitors especially come here to see how some of the residential use buildings were converted to the finest restaurants and historical places. The place was once inhabited by the richest Malaccan families. Thus, it was famous as the “Millionaires’ Row”. Walk in the Heeren Street and be glad since you are lucky enough to visit the place that once welcomed only the richest.
The simplicty of Heeren street is unique so keep this among your places to visit in Melaka list.
6. The Stadthuys
In the cluster of historical places in Malacca, the Stadthuys is also counted. The name of the place is a Dutch word that means a city hall. The buildings in the place are painted red, thus it is also known as the Red Square. This is the place connected to almost all parts of the city and you can call it the heart of Malacca Town. The Dutch Governor of Malacca built it in 1650. The Stadthuys is reserved as a Museum of History and Ethnography today. The place stores some of traditional costumes and artifacts that remind you of history of Malacca.
7. Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese Temple
The Cheng Hoon Teng temple or “Temple of Green Cloud” reminds of the Chinese architecture in Malacca. The Chinese used to practice three Doctrines here including Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. The Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is one of oldest functioning temple in Malaysia. Just near the Harmony Street, the Temple covers 4,600 m² area which is beautifully decorated. There is also a 7 meter pole that has a red flag with names of three captains.
For a unique experience, keep this temple among the list of places to visit in Melaka.
8. Queen Victoria Memorial Fountain
In the Stadthuys, there is a Queen Victoria Memorial Fountain that serves as a central place from where you can visit almost all the historical places of the city. The Queen Victoria Regina date mentioned on the fountain is 1837 to 1901. Almost every tourist to Melaka likes to have a photo by this fountain since it is both beautiful and historical. Getting here early is the key else you might have to get in a queue to take a picture in front of the fountain.
9. Dutch Square
The Dutch Square and Queen Victoria Memorial Fountain are located at a same place. The Dutch Square or the Malacca Town Square is monument of the British administration that was built in the mid of 17th century , and the Dutch lined it with the main townhouse, or Stadthuys, along with the Dutch Reformed Church, now called Christ Church.The red buildings in the square look great in the night lights.
10. Tan Kim Seng Bridge Melaka
On the River Melaka, the Tan Kim Seng Bridge is most famous as well as important. There was a rich Chinese trader and philanthropist in 19th century after whom the bridge is named. He donated the bridge to the town. Tan Kim donated bridge as well as land for Chinese cemetery to the town. You can find the bridge near Clock tower.
The unique aspect of Melaka is preservance of heritage sites to date. I hope you find top 10 historical places to visit in Melaka list handy. If you want to suggest a place then please feel free to add below in comments. If you’re traveling in Malaysia and would like to know best places to visit, below are some of the recommended guides: