Sunday, August 05, 2018

Santiago Gate - Surviving Gate of the A Famosa Portuguese Fortress @ Melaka [Malaysia]

Having been to Malacca on quite a number of occasions, i am surprised that i haven't really quite explore its historical sites; for example, the Santiago Gate which is part of a fortress said to be "the oldest surviving European architectural remains in Southeast Asia and the Far East" according to Wikipedia.

It's strange for me as the location wasn't far from the famous Jonker Street and in the past few visits, i have made it a point to stay near the night market for convenience! Hence, don't you find it weird that this gate has never been on my itinerary?!

There's a possibility that i drew similarities with Singapore's very own Fort Canning Hill which also has a few gates even though as far as age is concerned, the ones in Singapore are a few hundred years younger. 

I don't have the actual age of the gate but it's built during the period when Portugal had control over Melaka and that's like in the 1500s! Singapore is essentially not 'discovered' by Sir Stamford Raffles until about 300 years later.

Cannon looks kind of new though; likely a replica to represent the gate's importance as a fortress.

Despite its age, i can still make out the patterns and images on top of the gate; that of a man and woman even though i thought the male character seemed more like a Mongolian than a Portuguese.

Well preserved floor and wall; imagine the colonizers walking the same floor over 500 years ago! 

Back of the gate where the structure was reinforced using modern material. I bet you would have noticed the rusty red stones that made up the structure; known as Laterite stones, it was actually commonly used as a construction material in Southeast Asia and can be found in ancient sites like Angkor Wat!

A plaque fused to one section of the gate's ancient wall; it's a modern addition and i wonder if archaeologists would agree to such defacement... Oh well, i guess there must be some good reasons.

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Location
Within the historical, UNESCO town of Melaka,
Malaysia

Map
As above.

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