Sultan's Well (built 15th century)
The King's well (also known as Perigi Raja) is immediately adjacent to Poh San Teng temple. It was constructed during the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah (r. 1457-?) for his wife, believed by some to have been a princess from China (however, there are no Chinese records confirming this). The Sultan had three or four wives before marrying the princess who would use this well.
The well is said to never dry out even in the severest of droughts. During the Portuguese period it served as the main source of drinking water for Melacca. During a siege in 1551, Johore forces poisoned the well, causing the deaths of over 200 Portuguese soldiers. It was again poisoned in 1629 but its water became drinkable again after awhile.
During the Dutch occupation they turned this area into a restricted zone and constructed the present walls around the well (believed to have been completed by 1677). The square holes are for guns while the round ones are for transferring water outside the walls through chutes.
All images 2005 Timothy M. Ciccone
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