The Historical City Of Malacca

Welcome to Malacca World Heritage City. On this site you
will find comprehensive listing with information on almost
every aspect of visiting and living in Malacca.

Malacca History

· Introduction
· The state crest
· The state flag
· History and historical chronology
· Malacca's historical sites
· Places of interest
· Trivia and folklore
  · The legend of Pulau Besar
  · St. Francis lore
  · The first school in Malaysia
  · Admiral Cheng Ho's famous fingerprints
  · A Chinese princess and a magic well
  · Population of Malacca in 1881
· Malacca Walkabout
  · Historical site walk
  · Religious houses tour
  · Jogging on Bukit China
· Legendary visitors of ancient Malacca
  · Admiral Cheng Ho (Zheng He)
  · Ferdinand Magellan
  · Saint Francisco Xavier
  · Sir Stamford Raffles
  · Yap Ah Loy
· The Malay Sultanate of Malacca
  · The early stages
  · The administration
  · The political functions
· The Portuguese conquest of Malacca
· The Malacca fort 'A Famosa'
· Back to the past
  · Alfred Russel Wallace (1854)
  · Isabella Lucy Bird (1879)
· Old paintings and maps of Malacca
· Black and white pictures of yesteryears
· The ruins of St. Paul's Church
· Birdwatching at Bukit China


History of Malacca

The history of Malacca is largely the story of the city for which it is named, and the story of the city of Malacca begins with the fascinating and partly legendary tale of the Hindu prince Parameswara.

The Malay Annals relate that Parameswara was a fourteenth-century Palembang prince who, fleeing from a Javanese enemy, escaped to the island of Temasik (present-day Singapore) and quickly established himself as its king. Shortly afterward, however, Parameswara was driven out of Temasik by an invasion by the Siamese, and with a small band of followers set out along the west coast of the Malay peninsula in search of a new refuge. The refugees settled first at Muar, Johor, but they were quickly driven away by a vast and implacable horde of monitor lizards; the second spot chosen seemed equally unfavorable, as the fortress that the refugees began to build fell to ruins immediately. Parameswara moved on. Soon afterward, during a hunt near the mouth of a river called Bertam, he saw a white mouse-deer or pelanduk kick one of his hunting dogs. So impressed was he by the mouse-deer's brave gesture that he decided immediately to build a city on the spot. He asked one of his servants the name of the tree under which he was resting and, being informed that the tree was called a Malaka, gave that name to the city. The year was 1400.

Although its origin is as much romance as history, the fact is that Parameswara's new city was situated at a point of tremendous strategic importance. Midway along the straits that linked China to India and the Near East, Malacca was perfectly positioned as a center for maritime trade. The city grew rapidly, and within fifty years it had become a wealthy and powerful hub of international commerce, with a population of over 50,000. It was during this period of Malacca's history that Islam was introduced to the Malay world, arriving along with Gujarati traders from western India. By the first decade of the sixteenth century Malacca was a bustling, cosmopolitan port, attracting hundreds of ships each year. The city was known worldwide as a center for the trade of silk and porcelain from China; textiles from Gujarat and Coromandel in India; camphor from Borneo; sandalwood from Timor; nutmeg, mace, and cloves from the Moluccas, gold and pepper from Sumatra; and tin from western Malaya.

Unfortunately, this fame arrived at just the moment when Europe began to extend its power into the East, and Malacca was one of the very first cities to attract its covetous eye. The Portuguese under the command of Afonso de Albuquerque arrived first, taking the city after a sustained bombardment in 1511. The Sultan Mahmud fled to Johor, from whence the Malays counterattacked the Portuguese repeatedly though without success. One reason for the strength of the Portuguese defence was the construction of the massive fortification of A Famosa or Porta De Santiago, only a small portion of which survives today.

A Famosa ensured Portuguese control of the city for the next one hundred and fifty years, until, in 1641, the Dutch after an eight-month siege and a fierce battle. Malacca was captured, but it lay in almost complete ruin. Over the next century and a half, the Dutch rebuilt the city and occupied it largely as a military base, using its strategic location to control the Straits of Malacca. In 1795, when the Netherlands was captured by French Revolutionary armies, Malacca was handed over to the British by the Dutch to avoid capture by the French. Although they returned the city to the Dutch in 1808, it was soon given over to the British once again in a trade for Bencoleen, Sumatra. From 1826, the English East India Company in Calcutta ruled the city, although it experienced Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945. Independence did not arrive until 1957, when anti-colonial sentiment culminated in a proclamation of independence by His Highness Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, Malaysia's first Prime Minister.


Part 2: History of Malacca - Chronology of Events



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We recommend the following site(s):
· Malacca on Wikipedia: Wikipedia.org