As you may know, the Portuguese came to Malacca in 1511 and ruled the place till 1641. When they arrived at the shores of Melaka, the first thing they did was build a fort overlooking the river. They named it A Famosa. The A Famosa is one of the oldest European Architecture present in Southeast Asia.
Throughout the Portuguese rule, the fort was critical to their foothold of the island because the town was constantly under threats from other foreign bigwigs (i.e. the British and Dutch). It was not only important for Melaka; the fort was also instrumental in maintaining the Portuguese stronghold across the Far East. The fort consists of housing and food stores, a castle, a meeting room for the Portuguese Council and five churches.
In the late 17th century, Malacca came under attack by the Dutch and was significantly damaged, leaving only the entrance façade and the structure of a church at the top of the hill. In the early 19th century, the fortress was taken over by the British who decided to destroy it. This destruction came about in the year 1806; all was demolished expect for a small part, what is found today, the last bit of the once active and important fortress.
Tips for Travelers
You can take a stroll up St. Paul’s Hill on a cool late afternoon and walk around the huge trees and whatever is left of the great fort. Wandering around the place, you can well imagine the glorious days of the lives the Portuguese led right here centuries ago. It is better if you head up after 3 pm when the sun is less hot and the sea breeze begins.
How should visitors get to St Paul’s Hill (A Famosa)?
Preferably by taxi if you are in Melaka for a short trip. The taxi will cost you no more than RM 15.
If you have plenty of time then do look for a city bus. You can get off near bus stop No. 7 or 8. St. Paul’s Hill is within walking distance from both of the bus stops.
Approximate Touring Time
The approximate touring time for the St. Paul’s Hill is about an hour. There are a couple of attractions nearby so you might want to spend more time or plan your itinerary accordingly.
There are plenty of attractions near St. Paul’s Hill. A few of them are:
- Dataran Pahlawan Mega Mall
- Mahkota Parade Shopping Mall
- Menara Taming Sari (a revolving observation deck from a height of 80 meters)
- Istana Museum
There are also a couple of attractions within walking distance (about 15 – 20 minutes):
The place is open for the public 24 hours a day. The recommended time to visit is early morning or late afternoon.