A Famosa (Kota A Famosa) Melaka
A Famosa (Malay is “Kota A Famosa”) was a Portuguese fortress built in Malacca (Melaka), Malaysia, in 1512. The meaning of A Famosa is “The Famous” in Portuguese. The oldest part of the fortress was a five-story keep which gave its name to the fortress as a whole. Sometime following the Battle of Malacca (1641) and the occupation of the city by the Dutch, the keep was destroyed, but the outer walls of the fortress were reinforced. However, in 1807 the British destroyed most of the fortress. The Porta de Santiago gateway, and the restored Middelburg Bastion, are the only parts of the fortress that remain today.
The fortress once consisted of long ramparts and four major towers. One of the towers was a 60-m tall four-story keep, known as A Famosa (‘The Famous’), which was the tallest building in the region from 1512 until it was destroyed by the Dutch in 1641. Other parts of the fortress included an ammunition storage room, the residence of the captain, and an officers’ quarters. There were also townhouses inside the fortress walls.
The fort changed hands in 1641 when the Dutch drove the Portuguese out of Malacca. The Dutch renovated the gate in 1670, which explains the logo “ANNO 1670” inscribed on the gate’s arch. The fortress changed hands again in the late 18th century when the Dutch handed it over to the British. The English were wary of maintaining the fortification and ordered its destruction in 1806. The fort was almost totally demolished.
A Famosa is among the oldest European architectural remains in Southeast Asia and the Far East.
Address : A Famosa Melaka
Jalan Parameswara, Bandar Hilir, 78000 Alor Gajah, Melaka, Malaysia