Malaysia is unique and interesting with a historic and modern side blending in almost flawlessly. Here are 10 famous historical places that are a must-visit to experience the antiquity of Malaysians.
1. Malacca Sultanate Palace
Malacca Sultanate Palace, built at the foot of St. Paul’s Hill, is a wooden replica of Sultan Mansur Shah’s palace. The three-story museum houses a wide range of artefacts, such as traditional costumes, jewellery, weapons, paintings, and statues. The most remarkable aspect of this wooden structure is that no nails were used in its construction, and the roof was made of zinc and copper.
2. Fort Cornwallis
The fort is a star-shaped bastion built in beautiful architectural style to protect Penang from enemies on all sides. The fort’s basic design is similar to other British forts in India, and it contains a bronze statue of Captain Francis, as well as prison cells, a massive storage area, and barracks. The interior is unique, and numerous bronze cannons and mortars are also present and well-preserved.
3. Christ Church
Christ Church is a significant structure in Melaka and Malaysia’s oldest operating Protestant church. The church, one of Malaysia’s most intriguing historical sites, houses some exciting artefacts and objects with undiscovered stories behind them, such as the church bell. Many tombstones with Armenian and Portuguese inscriptions have been incorporated into the church’s floors, and some of the inscriptions provide an interesting glimpse into life during the Dutch period.
4. Sultan Ibrahim Building
The Sultan Ibrahim Building is Johor’s former state secretariat building. This structure was built in 1986 by the late Sultan Ibrahim to protect the state from the British, who were attempting to seize control of the country’s administration. During the pre-Merdeka era, the building on a hill was the tallest structure in Malaysia. Its beautiful design and tower make it a landmark in Johor Bahru, and it is an excellent example of both western and Malaysian architectural styles.
5. The A'Famosa Fortress
The A’Famosa Fortress is located on St. Paul’s Hill, close to the historic ruins of St. Paul’s Church. It was built in 1511 and used to recline across the side of the hills, adding to the beauty of the area, but what remains today in The A’Famosa Fortress is the last standing gatehouse of the once-great fortress, known as the porta de Santiago.
6. Snake Temple
The Snake Temple, also known as the Temple of the Azure Cloud, is a stunning piece of architecture with ornate detailing on the doors and pillars. There is a snake pool with devenomized snakes such as the wagler’s pit viper and green tree snakes reclining on the green branches of the tree. A snake exhibition with a variety of snakes in tanks is also located near the temple.
7. Hang Tuah's Well
Hang Tuah Well is located in Kampung Duyung, Hang Tuah’s birthplace. Locals claim that the well was dug by the great man himself, and after his death, the well became a home for his spirit, which took the form of a white crocodile. It is also said that this white crocodile can only be seen by those who are holy and have a pure heart, and that no one else can see it. Even during the driest seasons, this well has never run dry.
8. Bukit China
The largest and oldest burial ground of the Malacca Chinese community outside China. The site, which covers an area of more than 25000 square metres, was built to cement relations between China and Malaysia. Bukit China is also known for having Cheng Ho’s seven wells at its foot, and it is said that the Sultan gave Bukit China to Princess Hang Li Po as a wedding gift.
9. Kampung Kling Mosque
The Kampung Kling Mosque, which is named after the village where Indian traders lived, has a square plan, as opposed to other mosques in Western Asia, which have hexagonal or rectangular plans. The most amazing structure on the site is the minaret, which resembles a Chinese pagoda but is made of stonework rather than timber like the timber hall. The roof, as well as some of the walls and the floor, are decorated with Chinese ceramic tiles.
10. Sri Mahamariamman Temple
Sri Mahamariamman Temple is Malaysia’s richest and oldest Hindu temple. The temple’s design is one-of-a-kind, incorporating Italian and Spanish tiles, precious stones, and gold. The temple’s most amazing feature is its shape, which is similar to the human body, with the head pointing west and the feet pointing east. A focal point is also the main prayer hall, which contains murals and frescoes.