St. Paul's Church, Melaka

St. Paul's Church, Melaka (must see)

St. Paul's Church is a former church that now functions as an outdoor museum. It is part of the Malacca Museum Complex along with the ruins of A Famosa and Stadthuys. It is the oldest church building in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

The church was originally built as a Roman Catholic chapel in 1521 by Portuguese nobleman Duarte Coelho, as an act of gratitude following his escape from a storm in the South China Sea. It was dedicated to the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of the Annunciation. In 1548 St. Francis Xavier, a Spanish Jesuit, the patron saint of Roman Catholic missions, developed a school on the premises of the chapel, the first school established in the Malay Peninsula.
The second floor was added to the small chapel in 1556, and a belfry tower was built in 1590. The chapel was renamed the Igreja de Madre de Deus (Church of the Mother of God).

The building was later used as a Dutch Reformed church after the Dutch conquest. It was renamed St. Paul's Church and functioned as the main church of the Dutch Community through 1753.

St. Paul's Church fell into ruins after it was deconsecrated following the construction of a new Dutch Reformed church. During the British occupation, it was used as a powder magazine and allowed to fall into even further disrepair.

Efforts have been made over the years to restore and protect St. Paul's though it remains in disrepair. Tourists can explore the ruins by paying careful attention to the Dutch tombstones that have been restored and placed against the church's interior walls.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Melaka. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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St. Paul's Church on Map

Sight Name: St. Paul's Church
Sight Location: Melaka, Malaysia (See walking tours in Melaka)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Melaka, Malaysia

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