A Famosa is the most popular landmark in Melaka. The trip trip to Melaka is not complete without a stop at A Famosa. A Famosa is a reminder of the first time Melaka being colonized.
A Famosa is Europe’s oldest architecture in Southeast Asia. Historically, it was built by the Portuguese colonizers as a fortress. It was built by Alfonso de Albuquerqe in 1511 as the center of Portuguese administration after successfully seizing Melaka.
The fortress also used to house a hospital, 5 churches and several towers. But most of them were destroyed. What remains is Porta de Santiago, which is a small gate house that is still standing.
Image by: Khalzuri Yazid
Daily: 24 Hours
There is no entrance fee.
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When the Portuguese built the A Famosa in 1511, I bet they had no idea that this military fortress would become one of the most iconic historical structures of Malaysia. A Famosa means “The Famous” in Portuguese. True to its name, this fortress turned out to be one of the most popular tourist spots in peninsular Malaysia almost 500 years later.
All that remains of the fort today is the main gate to the former fort, called Porta de Santiago. This architectural relic stands as a one of many reminders of Malacca’s interesting history.
As one of the oldest European buildings in Asia, the gate house of the Portuguese fort in Melaka has many tales to tell. The fort was first built when the Portuguese over threw the army of Melaka but over time change to the Dutch hands and then the British, who eventually ordered its demolition in the early 1800s. It is free to explore and has information boards to learn about its history.
The Stadthuys is also one of the symbolic monuments in Malacca. It is the most famous location for the tourists to take pictures with this unique terracotta brick building as a backdrop.
St. Paul Church
St. Paul Church is the oldest church building in Southeast Asia. It is located at the top of St. Paul Hill. Today, the church is part of the Malacca Museum Complex that comprises the ruins of A Famosa, The Stadthuys and other historic buildings.
Jonker Walk or Jonker Street is the most popular shopping area in Melaka Town. It is also known as the Chinatown street of Melaka. Every weekend, the area is crowded with tourists looking for souvenirs and delicious street food to enjoy.