Malacca is the oldest city on the southwest coast of the Malaysian Peninsula and boasts six hundred years of history.
The great stone gate of the Porta De Santiago is the last remaining remnant of the A Fomosa Fortress built by the Portuguese in 1512. The Portuguese conquered this city of trade under the command of Alfonso d'Albuquerque and remained there for a hundred and thirty years, and introduced their own culture.
The cityís history dates back to 1403 when Hindu prince, Paramesware, of the Sri Vijaya Realm in Sumatra, established a sultanate in the city. By that time Malacca was, as a trading centre, already exceedingly prosperous, a fact reflected by its fine palaces and gardens. Merchants came in great numbers from Arabia, China, India and Europe.
In 1641 the Dutch followed the Portuguese and for 154 years conducted their rule from the Stadthuys in Malacca. The Stadthuys was the first public building project of the cityís new overlords and was furnished with balconies, fire vehicles and contained several imposing rooms.
The former ascent of a tiny piratesí retreat into that of a sultanís prosperous trading port from where various rulers of the seas turned Malacca into a place of history, truly became, 'The Cradle of Malaysia'.
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