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“Cross cultural history”

St. Paul's Hill & Church (Bukit St. Paul)
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Day Trip to Historical Malacca from Kuala Lumpur with River Cruise and Lunch
Ranked #5 of 137 things to do in Melaka
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The A' Famosa Fort and landmark St Paul's Church are two of the many attractions in this district.
Perth Australia
Level Contributor
253 reviews
185 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 315 helpful votes
“Cross cultural history”
Reviewed September 7, 2013

I started my exploration of St Paul's Hill Complex from the car park near the Dataran Pahlawan Megamall, which it appears to be a different entrance point to the one most people use who climb the hill.

Behind the MegaMall is the Independence Memorial. The memorial itself is a grey tiled pyramid about 2mt high with a yellow star and red M and the date 31 August 1957 on it. It stands where the Warrior’s Field was. There’s no nice garden in fact it is tucked behind a western style shopping centre, that has a pool type fencing along the perimeter. It would be easy to overlook this monument and its significance. Along the road is an old building which houses the national archives and Independence Museum.

Across the road is one of the gates/watchtower from the Portuguese Porta de Santiago complex and some remaining footings. The fortress was destroyed because the British feared that it could be used as a stronghold against them. You realise how massive the Fortress was when you see footings in the area past Dutch Square. Above the arch on the remaining gate you can faintly make out 1670. The path that leads through the arch still has the original cobbles and you get an idea of how thick the walls were, maybe 3-4 metres!!! In the courtyard are a number of original cannons, although not on their original carts.

Leaving the gate, climb up some rather steep stairs and reach the top of the hill. Here, there are a number of graves and memorial tablets. The most poignant one is to 6 children aged between 2- 12 months old when they died. I paused a moment, for a photo opportunity overlooking the Independence Museum and Porta de Santiago.

Follow the path around to the front of St Paul’s Church, built by the Portuguese in 1520s. Although without a roof now, from the size of the walls it isn’t hard to imagine that it would have been an imposing building in its heyday. Inside it is empty except for a number of well preserved headstones and the site where St Francis Xavier was interned after the ship that was carrying his corpse was forced to spend some months in Malacca on their voyage from China to Goa in India. St Francis Xavier was one of the 7 priests that co-founded the Jesuit Order.
In the grounds is a lovely statue of St Francis Xavier. Originally it was carved as a whole person but a tree branch fell and broke the right hand off. Coincidentally this is the same hand that he used to bless converts and the one that was removed and is now in a reliquary in a church in Rome. Coincidence????

Near the front entrance is a well preserved belltower. The view from the front of the church over rooftops, the Malacca Straits and the Maritime Museum, the replica of the Flora de la Mar is worth the climb.

Descend down the hill to Dutch Square.

Remember your water, on a hot day its thirsty work climbing to the top of the hill.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank 35yrdream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Tripoli, Libya
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Hilltop attraction”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

This St. Paul hill is just walking distance from the tourist center. Don't go up on the first gate leading to it but on the 2nd gate near the old mortar arch.

Visited August 2013
Thank 1956Andrei_57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kampar, Perak, Malaysia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Beautiful view from the place. Standing there one can imagine how would people lived those days with so much respect for religions

Visited August 2013
Thank Tvignes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kangar, Malaysia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Nice view from the hilltop”
Reviewed August 18, 2013

Among all the attractions of the heritage sites of Malacca, I love this attraction the most. You have to head on up the steps to reach the hilltop. Nice view of Straits of Malacca from there. Clear blue sky, nice wind and nice sun on a nice day. It's so perfect.

Visited August 2013
Thank YeevenK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
213 reviews
146 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Historic church and Melaka landmark”
Reviewed August 17, 2013

You can climb up St Paul's Hill from behind the Stadhuis or, from the other direction behind the old Portuguese fortress of A'famosa. From the top, in a Westerly direction you look out over the Melaka River mouth to the Melaka Straights and to the East, to the Governors' Residence and the wooden Sultanate Palace. The ruined church is an atmospheric place, built by the Portuguese in 1521, with later additions including a white watch tower and lighthouse and statue of St Francis Xavier who visited Melaka between 1545 and 1553. The statue is minus its right hand due to a falling tree branch; there is also an apocryphal story about the missing right hand but, sadly, a story I've now forgotten! Old Dutch tombstones, many with English translations, line the inside of the church, many telling of the harsh lives led by the early Dutch colonials, particularly the women and children who died in childbirth or from tropical diseases. After his death, St Francis Xavier was temporarily laid to rest in this Church before his body was taken to Goa in India. His tomb in St Pauls is now used as a form of wishing well. A colony of local artists has set up inside the church, with a range of paintings in different styles available for sale.

Visited May 2013
Thank ian2005wine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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