“Melaka is our national heritage, and every year we celebrate it as Malaysia’s cultural strength, beauty and pride. Besides that, conscious efforts are being made to preserve the historical buildings and monuments, so that the multi-cultural history of Malaysia can be witnessed through these sites by many more generations to come,” said Manoharan Periasamy, Director, Tourism Malaysia, India
A charming city with an abundance of breathtaking sights and rich heritage, Melaka, greatly adds to the historical treasure of Malaysia. The city was declared a World heritage site by UNESCO on July 7, 2008. This declaration is celebrated every year in the form of an event titled TRAIL – Melaka, comprising of various traditional and cultural activities, local food and highlights of its historical significance. This year, Melakawill be commemorated as a UNESCO World heritage on July 8, 2014.
In 2008, Melaka fulfilled the UNESCO criteria of representing multi- cultural trade, heritage and tradition of Asia and European colonial influences attaining the world heritage accreditation.
According to UNESCO, the integrity of Melaka as a UNESCO world heritage site is related to the presence of all the elements necessary to express its Outstanding Universal Value. The town exhibits an acceptable state of conservation, and efforts are being made to conserve the shop houses.
Developed over 500 years of trading and cultural exchanges between East and West in the Straits of Malacca, the state has a very multicultural heritage to flaunt.The government buildings, churches,squares and forts of Melaka demonstrate the early stages of the history originating in the 15th-century Malay sultanate and the Portuguese and Dutch periods beginning in the early 16th century. One such colonial masterpiece is ‘The Stadthuys’. Believed to be the oldest surviving Dutch building in the East, this prominent Dutch colonial architecture is a massive bright terracotta-red riverfront building that was once the official residence of Dutch governors and officers.It was built between 1641 and 1660 on the ruins of a fort which belonged to the Portuguese.It was in 1982 ,that ‘The Stadthuys’ was converted into a history museum which exhibits Malacca’s history starting from the great Malay Sultanate and the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonization till the present day. Just a short walking distance towards the opposite of the Stadthuys is the renowned Jonker Street where one can try famous Malaccan delicacies and buy souvenirs, to take back home.
Beside the Stadthuys is another fine example of the Dutch architecture, the Christ Church that was built in 1753 to celebrate a century of Dutch occupation. The Cathedral’s interior has 200 year old handmade pews, decorative fanlights and plaques that honor Dutch soldiers and locals.
The development of Melaka was based on the merging of diverse ethnic and cultural traditions, including Malay, European, Muslim, Indian and Chinese influences. All this resulted in a human and cultural tapestry that is expressed in a rich intangible heritage that includes languages, religious practices, gastronomy, ceremonies and festivals.
Laden with historical treasure, Melaka is the perfect holiday for tourists, especially history enthusiasts.So, when in Malaysia, relish this historical treat from the Dutch and Portuguese era.
About Tourism Malaysia India
Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, popularly known as Tourism Malaysia, was established to promote Malaysia as a top-of-mind tourist destination showcasing Malaysia’s unique wonders, attractions and cultures; develop domestic tourism and enhance Malaysia’s share of the market for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE). Tourism Malaysia’s objective is to promote Malaysia as an outstanding tourist destination and make the tourism industry a major contributor to the socio-economic development of the nation. In India, Tourism Malaysia offices are conveniently located in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
In 2014, Malaysia celebrates its fourth VISIT MALAYSIA YEAR (VMY) with the theme “Celebrating 1Malaysia Truly Asia”. The VMY 2014 promotional campaign has started this year with a series of year-long special events and activities leading to VMY 2014. It will contribute to the Government’s target to receive 36 million tourist arrivals and RM168 billion in receipts by 2020, as outlined in the Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan (MTTP) 2020.