Villa Sentosa in Kampung Morten (Morten Village)
The house, Villa Sentosa, was built during the first quarter of the century in the style fashionable during the era and has been converted into a private museum. Displays include a collection of costumes, Malay embroidery, furniture, muskets and interesting relics. Located in Kampung Morten, the only Malay village in Malacca, the house has a history that goes back to the British Land Reform Act 1920. Kampung Morten is conveniently located directly opposite The Majestic Malacca.
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 Historical and Ethnographic Museums. On display daily are fine traditional bridal costumes and relics from Malacca's glorious past.
Commissioned by the Dutch for their centenary celebration, Christ Church was completed in 1753 as a Dutch Reform church. It was re-consecrated to an Anglican church in 1838, where it remains till today a functioning church with Mass conducted in several languages. Several modifications and additions were made throughout the British occupation but most of the church remains in its 18th century setting. Take note of the 200-year-old handmade pews, ceiling beams constructed from a single tree without joints, brass Bible rest, old tombstones laid on the floor and the frieze of the Last Supper in glazed tiles.
Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower
The brick-red clock tower is located at Dutch Square, close to the similarly hued Christ Church and the Stadthuys. Tan Beng Swee, a rich Malaccan philanthropist, donated the clock that was imported from England in 1886.
Baba and Nyonya House Museum
The three terrace lots were acquired as a house in 1861 and were once the ancestral home to four Baba-Nyonya generations of the Chan family. The interior of the house, now turned museum, is built around a central open-air courtyard typical of a Peranakan house. The museum showcases the eclectic preferences of the late Mr Chan Cheng Siew (1869-1919), intricate carved fittings finished in gold leaf and beautiful antique furniture made of Chinese rosewood in a mixture of Chinese, Victorian and Dutch designs.
Built by the Portuguese in 1511 as a fortress to protect the spice trade route, it sustained severe structural damage during the Dutch invasion. The Dutch had set out to destroy it but timely intervention by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1808 saved what remains of A Famosa today, the Porta de Santiago gate.
Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum
The museum is a replica of the old Malacca Sultanate Palace before it was razed to the ground during the Portuguese attack in 1511. Situated at the foot of St Paul's Hill, it was built to the specifications as detailed in the Malay Annals. The museum is an excellent testimony of Malay traditional architecture with its usage of local timber from the highly prized iron wood. It also highlights the culture, hierarchy and administrative system of Malacca during the Malay Sultanate era.
St Paul's Church
This ruin was originally built by a Portuguese captain before the Dutch turned the chapel into a burial ground for their noble dead renamed it St Paul's Church from the Portuguese's original name of Our Lady of the Hill. St Francis Xavier was briefly enshrined here in 1553 before being shipped to Goa, India.
The museum resides within a life-sized replica of the Portuguese galleon, Flor De Lar Mar that ran aground off the coast of Malacca on its way to Portugal centuries ago. The ship was believed to be carrying priceless treasures seized from Malacca. Luckily, these items were salvaged and their symbolic significance to Malacca's heritage can be appreciated. The historical archives in the museum trace the maritime history of Malacca and include exhibits of ships dating back to the beginning of the great age of European exploration and seafaring.
Residents of the settlement are descendants of the 16th century Portuguese. The widespread intermarriages between the European sailors and soldiers and local women brought about the birth of a rich new culture. During festivals, cultural performances are held in the square with dancers dressed in colourful traditional costumes.
Jonker Street / Jonker Walk
No trip to Malacca would be complete without a visit to Jonker Street. It is famous for the number of shops selling antiques and curios, some of which date back as far as 300 years. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jonker Street transforms into Jonker Walk with peddlers setting up their little stalls at 5 pm to offer an intriguing variety of souvenirs, handicraft and antiques, each with its own history and mystery.
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
Built in 1645 by Kapitan Lee Wei King, this is Malaysia's oldest Chinese temple serving as main place of worship for the Hokkien community. Fine workmanship is evident in the ornately decorated mythological figures, carvings and lacquer work inside the temple. In 2003, Cheng Hoon Teng was awarded a UNESCO award for outstanding architectural restoration. Across the road is a traditional Chinese Opera Theatre that forms a part of the Cheng Hoon Teng temple complex. If you are visiting Malacca in early August, try to catch the Fujian Chinese Opera that is held here.
Prominent in its Sumatran architectural grandeur, this unique mosque is one of the oldest in the country and bears testimony to the fact that Islam existed in Malacca almost 600 years ago. A three-tier roof rising like a pyramid replaces a conventional dome and a minaret strays from a typical Moorish-style to the shape of a pagoda, demonstrating the East-West architectural influences. Sultan Hussain of Johor, the ruler who signed the cession of Singapore with Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819, is entombed in the mosque compound.
St Peter's Church
This was the primary location for congregations of Portuguese Catholics who had it constructed in 1710, during the period of Dutch rule. Now it qualifies as the oldest Catholic Church in Malaysia and still serves resident worshippers of the Catholic faith. They include descendants of the 600 men that Alfonso d'Albuquerque brought ashore after his conquest of Malacca. The existing bell in the belfry states the date and place of manufacture as 1608 - Goa, and was salvaged from an older church the Dutch had burned down. There is also an alabaster statue of the Lord Before The Resurrection.
The Royal Press
Founded by Ee Lay Swee in 1938, The Royal Press takes pride in being one of the oldest surviving letterpress companies in the world. This establishment features age-old, functioning printing machineries as well as a vast collection of old newspapers, receipts, publications, packaging and calendars printed for local businesses and townsfolk. The printing room reflects the multiculturalism of Malaysia, as one would find printing blocks, typeset alphabet and characters in the many languages spoken in Malacca.
No 8, Heeren Street Heritage Centre
A must for historical architecture buffs! The unassuming No 8 is a model restoration project by the Malaysian Heritage Trust of an early Dutch era shophouse built in the 1700s. The house introduces visitors to examples of the early Dutch form of building materials and engineering through its locally baked bricks, tiles, gables, breathable lime plaster walls and beams stabilised by the usage of wall anchor.