Declaration of Malacca as a Historical City
The story of the city of Melaka (Malacca) begins with the fascinating legendary tale of the Hindu prince Parameswara. The chronicle was envisaged in The Malay Annals (fondly known as Sulalatus Salatin or Genealogy of Kings), that gives a history of the origin of the Malay sultanate spanning from the ancient empire of Srivijaya to the time Melaka was founded. Melaka was the richest entrepot in Southeast Asia. Melaka’s history transcends all the way back to the 14th century, from its humble beginnings as a fishing village to its rise as the center of the spice trade known as “Venice of the East”.
Melaka’s strategic location and reputation among merchants from Arabia, China, India and Japan led to the colonization by the Portuguese, Dutch, British and Japanese empires. Nevertheless, each colonization has certainly left their mark in the historial city of Melaka. Today, the city is also a cultural hub where it comprises a blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European influences.
In 2008, Melaka was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO . The city was revived as a popular destination for tourists who enjoy places of historical significance. Melaka is also a place where tourists can seek out a gastronomical adventure with Malay, Chinese and Nyonya cuisines. The most celebrated dishes in Melaka include Satay celup, chicken rice balls, cendol, nyonya assam laksa, pastries and nyonya dumplings.
Whether you explore Melaka by foot or trishaw, the historial city is certainly a quaint city with abundance of breathtaking heritage sites. Today, the exquisite architecture and cultural townscape left by the different sovereigns include the A Famosa Fort, St. Paul’s Hill and St. John Fort by the Portuguese; Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, The Stadthuys, St. Peter’s Church, Christ Church Melaka and Sam Po Keng Temple by the Dutch; and St. Francis Xavier Church and Queen Victoria Memorial Fountain by the British.