Friday, November 5, 2010

Stepping into a piece of Melaka's History 走进一段马六甲的历史 ...

As you make your way to St Paul Church located at the St Paul Hill, it may take you some time, just a little bit longer than you would expect. It is not an easy climb even for my two kids ! 




At the summit of St. Pauls Hill stood a historical monument built by Duarte Coelho, a Portuguese Captain in 1521 AD, the church was formerly a chapel for the Portuguese and it was named as “Nosa Senhora” – translated as "Our Lady of the Hill". Although these valuable ruins have been standing on top of the summit of St. Paul Hill in Melaka for centuries, the strong and thick bricks still remind one of the magnificence architecture of the 16th century.



As Melaka was colonised by the Dutch from the hand of Portuguese in 1641, the fate of this former Portuguese chapel had been significantly changed. It was being used by the Dutch as a temporary praying place before their own church – which is the Christ Church was being completely constructed. Since that, the Dutch has renamed the Portuguese Chapel from “Nosa Senhora” – translated as "Our Lady of the Hill to St. Paul Hill".


When the Dutch’s Christ Church was completed, St. Paul Hill no longer played its role as a praying place and the Dutch then turned it into a burial ground and graveyard. In the interior walls of the chapel, you can see several monumental tombstones, with Dutch words engraving on it were leaning against the wall of the church. The tombstones and the graveyard nearby were places for the Dutch to mourn their ancestors while they settled down in Melaka centuries ago.


In front of the church stood a huge pearl-white statue - the status of St. Francis Xavier. 27 years after Duarte Coelho built the church, Don Albuquerque, the Archbishop of Goa in India handed the church to the Society of Jesus. St. Francis Xavier, as the pioneer Catholic Missionary that time was appointed to receive the title on behalf of the society in 1548.


The statue was built in 1952 in order to commemorate this saint. However, many are curious about the missing right arm of the statue (seen above). The statue was not being constructed without the right arm on purpose. The completed statue was planned to be consecrated in the morning. However, a tree fell and broke off the statue’s right arm. Until today, the statue that stood in front of St. Paul Church has a missing right arm.


When you visit St. Paul Church, you will discover more than what you expected. Standing on the hill, what you see is not merely St. Francis Xavier statue, the church with thick brick or the Dutch monumental tombstones. What exist here are the unique blend of history and culture, a chapel built by a Portuguese captain, being handed to the Society of Jesus and later renamed by the Dutch. All these become what we see today.

33 comments:

Andras said...

Great series of photos, i think you had a great time...!

Laura.M said...

Muy interesante esta historia del cementerio holandes y San Francisco Javier.Las fotos son estupendas.
Saludos .Laura

Joop Zand said...

Hello mr. Wong

You last pictures are again EXCELLENT, and your blog is so beautiful.
Thanks for sharing your work with us.

YOU ARE A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER !!!!!

Greetins, Joop

Scott said...

Very nice shots and a very interesting bit of history.

Olivier said...

belle serie, avec une preference pour la 4 et son superbe focus

Eyeliquor said...

Cool series Wong!
Very pretty :)

Ángel said...

Una puerta de entrada, unas escaleras casi infinitas ... todo invita a pasar. Y ese color, maravilloso que acompaña a toda la serie,
Excelente reportaje.
Cordiales saludos

Mahon said...

A wonderful series !
I like the quality of your photos and the small text very interesting, my favorite is n°. 4, really sublim !
bravo ! :))

Bye**

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful scenery, and a photographer is way out, "hippie talk".

Carolina Tavares said...

Beautiful photos with a strong presence on the look of solid.

essec said...

Ottimo scatto.

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

wow this palce is fantastic, and your photo are so cool full of mistry, you are a master!

Ruth B. said...

Nice and interesting series.

Anne Ueland said...

Great photos and interesting story :)

Alexander DeLarge said...

So great photos! And cetrainly nice story!

Greetings Wong!

PS: loving those colors.

Traveling Hawk said...

Hi! I came here from Frankie Pain's blog. What wonderful places are in your photos! I liked them, thank you.

Adriana

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

I love the arched doorway in the first photograph with the red wall.

Randy said...

What a beautiful place. That red wall is stunning.

ρομπερτ said...

Thank you for the effort and sharing such an interesting, beautiful place. Please allow me to take each single step, spending a lot of time ... A safe and good Friday for you.

daily athens

Cloudia said...

such excellent photos!!


Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

><}}(°>

Nurr Kasih said...

nice place to visit..nice photo too Mr.Wong.

manuel nieto said...

gran trabajo, saludos

FRANKIE PAIN said...

hello mr Wong !
oh a beautiful red house
and church, story
thank you for tis great séries goog day dear mr WONG !

UIFPW08 said...

I'm like this shots too. Have a nice weekend.
Morris

Enrique G.A. said...

Excellent work, apart from showing a lot of art, show us some beautiful and interesting places.
Regards and good weekend for you.

pharaonx said...

a beautiful story, magic illustrated.

Ursus said...

I like your blog and especially the pictures very good ... which is black and white picture my favorites
Greetings from switzerland .. ursus

Black Face Sheep said...

Hello Mr.Wong!
Each picture really depicts the charm of A Famosa.
Composition is interesting, and exposure is perfect!
The pictures I took here will appear a month later...
There are so many picuteres I took in Penang:-)

MKL said...

I was here once in 2007. I wish I had a better camera. And the weather was not good that day, too. You can see my post here.. Wish I had more time and a DSLR at that time. But I came to Melaka from Batu Pahat and a day before I arrived from Penang, 9h by bus.. Gosh, Malaysia is huge, haha.

Nordis said...

Nice and interesting serie.

Serge said...

Very profesional work!!

Linda said...

Very interesting. And the thing that captured my attention was the painstakingly tiled steps. Such a lot of work!

AB said...

Nice compositions- especially the looking-through-the-door photo.