A'Famosa Fort

A'Famosa Port
The Santiago Gate to the A'Famosa Fort

One of the first things the Portuguese did when they took over Melaka in 1511 was to build a massive fortification which encircled the base of St Paul's Hill. Inside the A'Famosa were the governor's palace, bishop's palace, state halls, five churches and two hospitals. When the Dutch seized Melaka, they kept the fort, but moved most of the administrative functions for the growing city outside the walls.

After the British took over, they set about tearing down the fortifications, but apparently Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, stepped in to prevent its complete destruction. Only the Santiago gate remains. Curiously, on the inside of the gate you can see the coat of arms of the Dutch East India Company. The symbols were placed there when the Dutch restored the fort after taking Melaka.