Melaka – the history

Melaka – the history

What makes Melaka interesting is its privatol role in the history of SE Asian colonialism. In 1511, the Portuguese arrived and displaced the local sultans. 130 years later the Dutch evicted the Portuguese and imposed a trade monopoly. And then in the late 18th century the British took over the administration.

The prize was a port bridging the east and west, a trading post between the spice islands and the European markets, ensuring Melaka, during the Dutch period, became one of the wealthiest ports on the planet. Today, it’s hard to believe. Melaka is a city of 0.8 million people, but looked to us like an industrial and trading backwater. It’s a tale of two cities; the British always preferred their other port down the Malacca Straits – Singapore.

IMG_1220
This is the only bit that remains of the A’Famosa Portuguese fort. Much of it was blown up by Farquhar, the Scottish rival of Raffles, until the latter stepped in to stop it
IMG_1230
Up on the hill, the Portuguese built church dating back to 1521, still evokes colonial splendour. But it’s now just a shell and fronted by a British built lighthouse
IMG_1244
We enjoyed going around a distinctive Straits Chinese (or Baba-Nonya) home. These Chinese first settled in Melaka back in the 1400s, and have added many Malay customs to their heritage
Advertisements

Thanks for reading. We'd love to hear your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s