Melaka is one of the historic cities built along the Straits of Melaka. The city has been developed over 500 years of the mixture of trading and cultural exchanges between East and West traders. The influences of Asia and Europe have endowed the towns with a specific multicultural heritage that is both tangible and intangible. With its government buildings, churches, squares and fortifications, Melaka demonstrates the early stages of this history originating in the 1 5th-century Malay sultanate and the Portuguese and Dutch periods beginning in the early 16th century.
The Stadthuys was one of the official residences for the Dutch Governor but now has become one of the famous attractions for visitors from all over the world. The legacy of the Dutch is still very much alive and felt in Malacca in a form of a red building called the Stadthuys. It used to be the administrative centre of successive governments but now it is a history museum. The Stadthuys can be easily found as it is Just beside the Christ Church. Opposite the Stadthuys is the famous Jonker Street visited by many tourists.
The Stadhuys is an evidence of a fine Dutch architecture. The building is so firmly made that even with little alteration and maintenances, it still stands firmly and upright. This shows that the Dutch had a great knowledge about the making of architecture. There are many tourists’ shops along the walls of the Stadhuys. From the roof of the Stadhuys, one can see a great view of the Christchurch. The Stadthuys was built between 1641 and 1660 on the ruins of a fort which belongs to the Portuguese. It is believed that the Stadthuys is the oldest Dutch building in the East.
This massive red building displays all the common features of the Dutch colonial architecture which includes substantial solid doors and louvered windows. Since its completion to 1980, the Stadthuys was used as the administrative centre of successive governments for a period of 300 years. It was in 1982 when the Stadthuys was converted into a history museum which exhibits Malacca’s history starting from the great Malay Sultanate and the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonization till the present day.
This building also has his history in the field of education, which in the 19th century during the British rule, a school run by the clergy known as the Malacca Free School was built in the yard Stadhuys Building. When the free education given by the English school. However most of the students in the school is composed of the children of the wealthy Chinese. Historical records show a letter dated 19 April 1825, stating the need to set up an English school in Malacca. The letter was sent to the council signed by a representative of the church, Mr.
J. Humprey , JW Overee and A. W. Baumgarten . The school finally opened on December 7, 1826 with only 18 students. Malacca Free School Principal was Mr TH Moore. Soon the number of students at the school increased to 200. Study time from 9 am to 12 noon and from 2pm connected to 4 pm. Number of Malay students at that time not many because most parents send their children to Malay schools or religious schools. Although the language of instruction is English, other languages such as Malay, Portuguese and Chinese are also taught.
In August 1878, the British government took over the administration ot the schools ot the clergy and called Malacca High School or High School Malacca. The new principal is Mr. A. Armstrong. In 1931, Malacca High School moved to its new site in Jalan Chan Koon Cheng until now. The building now houses the Museum of History and Ethnography. Daily display of this museum is a traditional wedding dress and artifacts from the heyday of Malacca. In conclusion, all the history past made the Stadthuys had been chosen as one of the world heritage.
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