Photo Gallery

Stadthuys Town Hall (built 1641-1660)

Stadthuys is the oldest and largest building surviving in Southeast Asia from the early Dutch colonial era. Covering 49,200 square feet (including annexes), the building practically forms its own streetscape. Groundbreaking for the central portion of the building began in 1641, the same year that the Dutch wrested control of Melaka from the Portugese, who had ruled since 1511. Work on the building continued for nearly twenty years with laborers probably drawn mostly from the Portugese population. The building served as the civic center of the town, housing the Dutch governor and his numerous aides.

Stadthuys remained the center of Dutch Administration until 1824, when the British took control of the town. The subsequent British governors continued to favor Stadthuys as a civic center. As late as 1979, the Malaysian government used the building as the State Governing Center. Since then, the building has been converted into the Ethnography Museum. Although the interior is now filled with museum exhibits, it is still possible to view much of the interior with its thick masonry walls and heavy wooden beams.

For GPS users: According to GPS readings taken on site by the author, the building is located at 2 degrees 11.66621 minutes north, 102 degrees 14.95521 degrees east (WGS84 map datum).

Stadthuys Plan

Below: Axonometric sketch of Stadthuys. Drawing by the author, Timothy M. Ciccone.

Bibliography:

All images 2005 Timothy M. Ciccone

Chin, Lim Bee. My Penang
  Lim Bee Chin, 2005. Malaysia

Khoo Joo Ee. The Straits Chinese: A Cultural History
  The Pepin Press, 1998. Amsterdam

Nyen, Robert Tan Sin. Historic Malacca Pot-pourri
  Aim Press Sdn Bhd., 1990. Melaka

Pintado, M.J. A Stroll Through Ancient Malacca
  Loh Printing Press (M) Sdh Bhd., 1978. Melaka

Shareen Corporate Communications Sdn Bhd. Melaka: The Historic City of Malaysia
  Malaysia Mining Corporation Berhad, 1992. Kuala Lumpur

Rowthorn, et. al. Lonely Planet: Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei
  Lonely Planet Publications Ltd., 2001. Malaysia

Yeang, Ken. The Architecture of Malaysia
  The Pepin Press, 1992. Amsterdam


Leave a Comment (*required)

Saving...
Name:*
Email:*
 (will not be published)
Website:
Comment:*
Captcha text:*