St Paul's Hill & The Church of St Paul


Also on the list of Melaka’s main historical landmarks are St Paul’s Hill and the Church of St Paul, which was established as a religious place of worship for Christians during the Portuguese colonisation of Melaka.

Despite the uphill climb, the view at the top surely makes up for it. Be prepared to be blown away by the breathtaking vistas of Melaka town when you reach the peak of the hill.

St. Paul's Hill

Located just a stone’s throw away from the ever-famous Dutch Square, St Paul’s Hill is a definite must-visit whenever you’re in the area. Depending on your speed of walking, enjoy a five- to ten-minute climb  up the hill on a set of beautiful white stairs along the slope that will take you directly to the Church of St Paul. As you ascend the stairs, don’t forget to pause and take in the spectacular views of Melaka town and make sure to also keep an eye out for old Dutch graves that surround the hill.

Fun fact: This hill was previously known as Monti Ali Maria or Monty Hill during the Portuguese colonisation

The Church of St Paul

Once you arrive at the top of St Paul’s Hill, you will be greeted by the stunning view of the famous Church of St Paul. What remains of this 500-year-old church are the ruins and other artefacts belonging to Christians and the church from years ago. The Church of St Paul was originally a chapel and was known to the Portuguese in Melaka as the Chapel of Mother of God or Lady of the Hill.

The church was built by a Portuguese Captain, Duarte Coelho, in 1521 AD and was originally used as a place of worship for Catholic Christians. However, when the Dutch army colonised Melaka, the church was no longer used as a place of worship as Christ Church was built.

Today, the Church of St Paul is known to be the oldest Catholic Church in Malaysia and is a revered landmark in Southeast Asia. Standing tall at the entrance of the church is a statue of St Francis Xavier in white; his lingering presence here is a testament of the church as his sacred burial ground.

As you enter, be prepared to be whisked off your feet by the church’s beauty as well as its stunning structures. Here, you will also find the open grave of St Francis Xavier. The saint's body was initially buried in the church before being transported to Goa in India. Today, the open grave is covered by a metal cage that still allows visitors to sneak a peek into the depth of the grave. Don’t forget to check out the olden Dutch tombstones that lean against the walls of the church. .

How to get to St Paul's Hill and the Church of St Paul

If you find yourself along Jonker Street and wish to visit St Paul’s Hill, you’re almost there as it is only a four-minute walk away. Alternatively, if you happen to be further out than Jonker Street, e-hailing will be your best option. Visitors can also opt for car rental services that have a wide range of vehicles to choose from.

Check out some car rental services that are available in Melaka here.

For a more convenient and cost-effective alternative, visitors can also hop on board Melaka’s public transport. Look no further as there are comprehensive services offered by Panorama Melaka buses. As the exclusive operator of public buses in Melaka, Panorama Melaka provides extensive connectivity across the city, ensuring that all major attractions and districts are easily accessible to the public. Route code 17 will take you from Melaka Sentral directly to Banda Hilir. Find out more about the route code here.

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