Malacca (or Melaka in Malay) is undoubtedly the most interesting city in Malaysia from a historical perspective. While Malaysia dire sites and monuments full of history compared to its South Asian neighbors, Malacca is a cultural oasis with a rich colonial past. Successively colonized by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the English, the city guard these times many buildings of European inspiration and a certain architectural style. There are various things to do and places to visit in Melaka. But the city is also linked with various interesting facts to know.
Read on to know 10 fun facts about Melaka which will excite you to visit this amazing place.
Fun facts about Melaka
- The name of Melaka is famous because the city gave the name to the strait between Malaysia and Indonesia which used to borrow all the boats sailing between Europe and China.
- Melaka is the third smallest state in Malaysia which is located about 150 miles north of Singapore. It can be reached from Singapore within 3 hours.
- Melaka’s history is quite old than the other Malaysian cities. It was founded by Paramesawar, the last king of Singapura. He ruled from 1389 to 1398. He established Melaka in 1402 when he found a port strategically located in the narrowest point of Melaka Straits.
- Melaka has a long history of invasion and destruction. It was first captured by Portuguese in 1511 by General Alfonso de Albuquerque who sailed from Goa to Melaka.
The Dutch defeated the Portuguese in 1641 with the help of the Sultan of Johore. They ruled Melaka from 1641 to 1798.
The Dutch surrendered Melaka to the British under the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 in exchange for Bencoolen on Sumatra. It was then ruled by British between 1826 and 1946. It was a part of the Straits Settlements and became part of the Malayan Union after the dissolution of the crown colony.
- Melaka is quite a diverse society with 63% Malays, 25% Chinese, 6% Indians, and small communities of Kristan with partial Portuguese ancestry and community of Eurasians with Dutch ancestry. Islam is the dominant religion of Melaka i.e. 66% percent, along with about 25% Buddhists, 5% Hindus, and 3% Christian.
- Melaka has several antique sites that transport you back to the time. The Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum and the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum are the most famous museums of Melaka.
- The city has heritage sites belonging to every religion. For instance, Melaka has Sri Pogyatha Vinoyagar Moorthi Temple that is the converging point of Hindus of Malaysia. It was built in 1781 where devotees believed to be granted what they ask.
Melaka has a monumental Christ Church constructed in 1753. The church reflects Dutch architecture as it was ceiling skylights, hand-crafted church pews, copper replica of the Bible, and a reproduction of “The Last Supper”.
Melaka also has historical Mosque. Kampung Hulu Mosque is the oldest mosque in Melaka. The mosque is also known as “Harmony Street” as it is located nearby the Sri Poyatha Moorthi Temple and Cheng Hoon Teng Temple. It was built between the year 1720 and 1728 and was renovated in 1892. The mosque is one of the most interesting places to visit in Melaka as its architectural design is an amalgamation of Hindu, Chinese, Sumatran, and the Melaka Malay styles. Its minaret resembles pagoda.
- One of the fun things to do in Melaka is to visit Taming Sari Tower. It goes 260 feet in the sky. Its height and revolving structure lets you view Melaka from bird-eye-view.
- Melaka also has typical tourist attractions such as the Melaka zoo which is second largest zoo in Malaysia with more than 1,200 animals. The Taman Mini Malaysia and Mini ASEAN cultural parks are also located in Melaka. These parks houses architectural styles of all the 13 Malaysian with numerous arts and crafts and other items depicting their culture.
- Like any city, Melaka also has atypical mean of transport. These are the bicycle rickshaws decorated with loads of flowers and vigorously painted with several colors.
These fun facts about Melaka is not only a historical city but it has a lot more than that. It has everything that can please tourists via its diverse culture, adventurous places, exciting commute system, and recreational parks etc.