Dutch Square

Melaka

Immerse Yourself in the Historical Highlights of Dutch Square, Melaka

A must-see on your day trip in Melaka, make sure you drop by the iconic Dutch Square, which is packed with historical buildings and monuments that are worth stopping for. As you approach the square, you will be greeted by a series of red buildings that are as eye-catching as they are iconic, beckoning you to learn more about the deep history that Melaka holds.

Although you may come across similar dishes elsewhere in Malaysia, it is almost certain that nothing quite matches up the unique and exceptional taste found within the state when it comes to Melaka food.

Dutch Square is prominently located right opposite Jonker Street, just a three-minute walk from the bustling area. Alternatively, for those who delight in the joys of public transportation, simply hop on Melaka Bus Town No.17, which will drop you off at Jonker Street, and from there enjoy a short stroll to the famous Dutch Square.

Melaka Clock Tower

The Melaka Clock Tower proudly stands at 50-feet tall and has been a statement in the heart of town for over 134 years now. Located right in the city, the Melaka Clock Tower is situated outside the Dutch Stadthuys, just beside the Queen Victoria’s fountain.

Also known as the Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower, the tower was built in the centre of town as it was regarded as the most prominent place in all of Melaka.Named after Tan Beng Swee, a wealthy businessman and leader of the Chinese community in Melaka and Singapore, the tower was built by Tan Beng Swee’s son, Tan Jiak Kim to honour his late father’s wishes after his passing in 1884. The construction of the tower was carried out in Britain and completed in 1886 before it was delivered to Melaka. To this day, the clock still diligently tells the time while the bell faithfully tolls every hour.

Queen Victoria’s Fountain

Located in the same area as the Stadthuys and the Melaka Clock Tower, the Queen Victoria’s Fountain was built to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Built in 1901 by the British, this iconic fountain has been a fixture here for over a hundred years and still functions well to this day.

Beyond just a statement piece, this fountain is also a key symbol of the days of British colonisation in Malaysia. Once you reach the fountain, spot the inscription that reads: ‘Victoria Regina 1837-1901. Erected by the people of Malacca in memory of a great queen in 1904’.

Stadthuys

The iconic Stadthuys is one of the many legacies that were left by the Dutch and is known to be one of the most important historical sites in the city of Melaka. The name ‘Stadthuys’ is a Dutch word that translates to ‘city hall’. Located in the Dutch Square, the Stadthuys is situated right beside the Christ Church. Spanning over 49,200 square feet, the iconic red building was sturdily designed with huge walls, shutter windows and thick old doors with iron hinges

This magnificent building was built between the years 1641 and 1600, and is said to be the oldest Dutch building in the East. In the past, the building was used as an administrative centre of the government for over 300 years as well as residences for Dutch governors and officers.

In the year 1982, Stadthuys was converted into The History and Ethnography Museum to showcase the rich history of Melaka. The museum includes detailed information from the Malay Sultanate to the colonisation of the Dutch and British to the history and ethnography of the tradition and culture of Melaka. The museum is also home to a selection of relics, which are over 400 years old.

Entry Fee for the Museum of History and Ethnography

    • Malaysian Adult- RM 10
    • Foreigner Adult - RM 20
    • Malaysian Child- RM 5
    • Foreigner Child- RM 10
*Admission to the building allows entry to all museums inside.
*Prices are subject to change, visit the official website of the History and Ethnography Museum for price confirmation.

Operation Hours for the Stadthuys:

    • Monday to Thursday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    • Friday to Sunday: 9:00 AM - 8:30 PM

The Church of St Paul

Built in the year 1521, this 16th-century church resides atop the famous St Paul’s Hill. Today, however, what can be seen are the ruins of the once-beautiful church. The Church of St Paul was known to the Portuguese in Melaka as the Chapel of Mother of God (Madre De Deus) or Lady of the Hill (Nossa Senhora Do Oiteiro).

Built by a Portuguese captain, Duarte Coelho, the church is known as the oldest Catholic church in Malaysia and a revered landmark in Southeast Asia. Today, as visitors roam the church grounds, they can also catch glimpses of some of the more interesting artefacts that are placed around the area.

The church is renowned as the place where the body of St Francis Xavier was buried before being transported to Goa. To honour the saint, a white statue of him was erected at the entrance of the church. As you walk further into the church, you will also reach the open grave of St Francis Xavier, which is now covered by a metal cage. Surrounding the church walls are Dutch tombstones, which visitors can also freely view.

The Church of St Paul and St Paul’s Hill is one of the many historic places in Melaka. From the ancient architecture which is influenced by the Portuguese to the magnificent views that you will come across as you make your way up the hill, this landmark is one you will not want to miss on your trip to Melaka. Click here to learn more about this historical site of Melaka.


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