Malacca Dutch period circa 1744…



View of Malacca Fort from the Straits of Malacca during Dutch period circa 1744…

We have no official Dutch Settlement here in Malacca like the Portuguese Settlement even though the Dutch was the longest European power that ruled Malacca – 183 years. If Portuguese Admiral Afonso de Albuquerque was famous because his effort to win Malacca for Portuguese, Admiral Cornelis Matelief de Jonge was among the important figure to defeat Portuguese from Malacca. In the early 17th century, the Dutch East India Company / VOC (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie) began the campaign to destroy Portuguese power in the East. After they take control the strong fort – Fortaleza de Malacca, they restored and extended the existing fortification. They also change the Portuguese name for the fort such as Bastion Santiago in Portuguese period to Bastion Wilhemus during their presence.



Stadhuys Complex…

The Dutch build their administrative building called Stadthuys for the used of the Dutch Governor’s. Now Stadhuys is still exist and it is the oldest still existing VOC building in Asia. If the Portuguese build the St. Paul’s Church, the Dutch build the Christ Church. Now is the oldest Protestant Church in Malaysia. Unlike the St. Paul’s Church was now an old ruin, Christ Church is still being used by the local Christian. Visitors also can see the original church bell dated 1698, several Dutch & English silver objects. There is also a brass Bible rest dating back to 1773.



Christ Church…

Some of the buildings used by the Dutch VOC officials still standing till now. One of the interesting building is now housing the Stamp Museum, that was once occupied by the Westerhout family. It was occupied by the same family for about 300 years until 1930. The house was subsequently turned into the state’s first museum after Merdeka. The Dutch also have their residential area called Hereen Street (Hereenstraat). Many still available now and have been occupied by the locals mainly wealthy Chinese. If ask, they still hold the original Dutch land title. Read here for one of the restored house at Hereen Street – The no. 8 Hereen Street.

Of course there must be a graveyard for the Dutch as they were here long enough. This graveyard was established for the VOC officials and their families. One gravestone mention the name of a Dutch Lady, Anna Reynierse who died in 1670. Most of the gravestones are located at St. Paul’s Church.



Dutch Graveyard…

Netherlands Embassy in Malaysia now support Melaka State Effort to conserve all the Dutch remaining here. One of the project sponsored by the Netherlands Embassy is The Dutch heritage trail to showcase the Dutch history and influences in the golden era of Malacca.


The Dutch Heritage Trail..

Trail map: 1. Malacca trees. 2. Porta de Santiago (A’Famosa Fort). 3. Excavation of fortifications. 4. Old museum. 5. Museums and Antiquities Department building. 6. Architecture Museum. 7. Excavation of Middlesburg. 8. Stadthuys. 9. Chirst Church. 10. Dutch graveyard and 11. St Paul’s church.

— asmaliana

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