Having a rich blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European influences, Malaysia is home to many historical sites showcasing its struggles and victories over the past few centuries. These historical sites in Malaysia are preserved due to their heritage value to the country.
The cultural richness in Malaysia lures not only history buffs but also people who love the beauty of architecture. From A’Famosa to Malacca Sultanate Palace, the place’s charm is what you can’t miss. You can see how well the place is preserved and protected.
You get to know a deep insight into the culture of Malaysia by visiting these historical sites in Malaysia. If you want to know something about the past in Malaysia, here are some historical sites in Malaysia that you must visit.
Best Historical sites In Malaysia #1 – A’Famosa, Melaka
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One of the best historical sites in Malaysia, A’Famosa, is located in Melaka. Located near the city center in Melaka, A’Famosa was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and is one of Asia’s oldest surviving European structures.
It was once held as an officers’ quarter, the residence of the captain, and an ammunition storage room. The original structure was destroyed by the Dutch when they took over. Only part of the remain, the gate, was left behind, known as Porta de Santiago.
Once home to many Portuguese administrative officials, A’Famosa is now one of Melaka’s famous sightseeing spots. Many photographers love this spot as they get to capture some stunning images of this structure.
Best Historical sites In Malaysia #2 – Hang Tuah Well
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Located at Kampung Duong, Melaka, this 6-meter-deep well was dug by Hang Tuah, a popular Malay warrior, for his own use. According to the Antiquarian Act, Hang Tuah well was declared a historical site on 29 September 1977.
You may have heard the legend and myth of Hang Tuah. It was said that after Hang Tuah’s death, his spirit stayed in the well as a white crocodile. Not everyone can see him, only those with a pure and kind heart.
Locals said the well had grown in size over time, and the water had healing powers. There isn’t much about the well. It is about the legend of it. You can get some souvenirs at the shop nearby and small eateries for a quick snacking.
Best Historical sites In Malaysia #3 – Snake Temple
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Constructed in 1805, the snake temple was originally known as the Temple of Azure cloud. It was built to remember Chor Soo King, a Buddhist healer, and priest. He had healed many wounded and sick.
Chor was a snake lover, creating a refuge for various snakes and reptiles in his home. Dozens of Wrangler’s Pit Vipers mysteriously moved in after the temple was completed, and they are believed to be Chor’s disciples. Therefore, they rename it to snake temple.
There is a ‘snake farm’ not far away from the shrine. It is designed in a way to allows baby snakes are allowed to grow and wounded ones are allowed to heal. There’s a beautiful pond surrounded by trees and snakes on the branches. This is definitely a place for snake lovers to visit.
Best Historical sites In Malaysia #4 – Melaka Sultanate Palace
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Located at the bottom of St. Paul’s Hill, Melaka Sultanate Palace is an imitation of Sultan Mansur Shah’s royal palace built in the 15th century. Also known as the cultural museum or Muzium Kebudayaan, the Sultanate palace was built in 1985.
The original palace was said to have been struck by lightning and destroyed shortly after the Sultan took the throne. They constructed the Melaka Sultanate Palace using traditional architectural methods, without a single nail. The building is supported by wooden pillars and covered with copper roofs.
Now, this three-story Melaka Sultanate Palace museum is divided into eight chambers. You can see traditional costumes, weaponry, art, jewelry, and other artifacts. Other than that, the museum also has three galleries showing the local legends through dioramas. You definitely get a glimpse into their culture. One major attraction of Sultanate Palace is the sculpture of Sultan’s headdress, which stands at the center of the museum garden.
Best Historical sites In Malaysia #5 – Bukit Cina
Image Credit: Go Melaka
Bukit Cina, also known as China Hill, is the largest and oldest cemetery of the Melaka Chinese community outside China, with over 12,500 graves. Some even date back to the Ming dynasty. The cemetery stretches over 3 hills, and there are 20 Muslim tombs included. It is one of Melaka’s UNESCO sites.
A Chinese Princess, Hang Li Po, was sent to Malacca by the Ming Dynasty in the mid-15th century to marry Sultan Mansor Shah. It was meant to keep the peace between China and Malaya. This land was a gift from the Sultan. The hill was their residence and became the cemetery that it is today.
Don’t get surprised if you see the locals jogging and walking among the medieval graves, as it offers an incredible view from the park. You can see some attractions at Bukit Cina, such as the King’s Well, Ming Bridge, and Poh San Teng Temple.
Best Historical sites In Malaysia #6 – St Paul’s Church
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The oldest church in Southeast Asia and Malaysia, St Paul’s Church, was built in 1521 and is located on the summit of St Paul’s Hill in Melaka. The church was originally built by the Portuguese to dedicate Virgin Marry to saving his life from a storm in the South China Sea. But it was turned into a burial ground after the Dutch invaded Melaka. Now you can only find ruins of the original architecture.
St Paul’s Church is now a part of the Melaka Museum Complex consisting of the A’Famosa ruins and other historical buildings. You see an armless marble statue of St. Francis Xavier standing right in the church complex. It is believed that after 60 years of his death, blood is still dripping from his severed arm.
It is a popular spot for tourists where you will find them taking photos and reading the tombstone inscriptions. Besides, since it is at the hilltop, you can enjoy the gorgeous view of Melaka city.
There are many other historical sites in Malaysia you will want to visit, but here are the top 6 historical sites you must visit. Enjoy the history behind all these sites. Of course, you wouldn’t want to miss the beautiful architecture of all these buildings.
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