George Town's Historical Religious Buildings, George Town

George Town's Historical Religious Buildings (Self Guided), George Town

George Town has much to be proud of when it comes to religious heritage, as the city has a host of wonderful churches, temples, mosques and other religious centers. Each is beautifully decorated and has its own unique story to tell. Check out the most interesting historical religious edifices in the city with this self-guided walking tour.
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George Town's Historical Religious Buildings Map

Guide Name: George Town's Historical Religious Buildings
Guide Location: Malaysia » George Town (See other walking tours in George Town)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Author: Maia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Acheen Street Mosque
  • Yap Kongsi Temple
  • Kuan Yin Teng, Goddess of Mercy Temple
  • Kapitan Keling Mosque
  • Nagore Durgha Shrine
  • Sri Mariamman Temple
  • Cantonese Tua Pek Kong Temple
  • St. George's Church
  • Hainan Temple
Acheen Street Mosque

1) Acheen Street Mosque

The Acheen Street Mosque, also known as Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh, dates from 1801. Tengku, who founded this old mosque, installed a minaret of Arabian-Oriental along with an Achehnese roof. This tall edifice is a beautiful example of the marriage of Indian and Chinese architectural styles.
Yap Kongsi Temple

2) Yap Kongsi Temple

Built in 1924, this famous temple is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites of George Town. Its beautiful exterior dazzles the eye with its variety of bright colors. Blue dragons, a green roof and walls decorated with pearls can all be admired here. Look out for the three porcelain figures standing on the roof - they symbolize luck, wealth and health, and are reproduced in apartments and restaurants all over the city.
Kuan Yin Teng, Goddess of Mercy Temple

3) Kuan Yin Teng, Goddess of Mercy Temple

Also known as the Goddess of Mercy Temple, this house of worship is one of the oldest Chinese temples in Penang. Built in 1801 by early immigrant settlers from China, the building is decorated with intricately crafted dragons and a pair of stone sculptured lions, known as Fu dogs. Pilgrims flock to the site all year round, and particularly on the first and fifteenth day of each lunar month. Outside, there’s a lovely square that hosts puppet shows and Chinese operas on special occasions.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Kapitan Keling Mosque

4) Kapitan Keling Mosque

Masjid Kapitan Keling is the most famous mosque in Penang. Its architecture combines the Indian-Mughal style with Gothic, Moorish, Romanesque and Renaissance elements. The mosque is named for Cauder Mohudeen Merican. Commonly called Kapitan Keling, he was the leader of the Muslim community in Penang in the early 19th century.

Sir George Leigh, Lieutenant-Governor of Penang, granted 18 acres of land for the mosque in 1801. The mosque was designed by German architect Henry Alfred Neubronner. It is located on Kapitan Keiling Street, also called "the Street Of Harmony." The mosque shares the Street with the Goddess of Mercy Temple and St George's Church.

The mosque is part of the World Heritage Site of George Town. It is at the center of the Tamil Muslim Chulias Neighborhood. Cauder Mohudeen was a ship tandoor from Porto Novo, south of Pondicherry, India.

The original design met with disapproval and the mosque was remodeled and enlarged. The prayer hall doubled in height. The ventilation system was overhauled and more natural light was admitted. The outside is colored ochre. The interior has white marble floors. The aisles are framed by horseshoe arches. All decoration is of geometrical designs.
Nagore Durgha Shrine

5) Nagore Durgha Shrine

Erected at the start of the 19th Century, Nagore Durgha is the oldest Muslim shrine on the island. It is painted in white and light blue, with three arc-shaped openings on its façade. If you visit this beautiful shrine, you’ll also have the chance to browse the interesting little shops located next to it.
Sri Mariamman Temple

6) Sri Mariamman Temple

Built in 1833, Sri Mariamman is the oldest Hindu temple in Penang. Here you can see fascinating sculptures of gods and goddesses over its main entrance and façade. A long-standing place of worship for Indian Hindus in the city, today it holds a special place in the heart of that community. Built in the south Indian Dravidian style, the temple’s most outstanding feature is the impressive gopuram (tower). Rising above the entrance, it features Hindu deities, soldiers and floral decorations. Housed within its ornately decorated interior is the priceless statue of Lord Subramaniam, embellished with gold, silver, diamonds and emeralds. The statue figures prominently in the annual Thaipusam festival, when it is borne on a silver chariot through the city streets to the temple.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Cantonese Tua Pek Kong Temple

7) Cantonese Tua Pek Kong Temple

The Cantonese Tua Pek Kong Temple was founded by the Hakka and Cantonese association in the middle period of 18th Century, with additional works in 1909. Facing the building you can admire its beautiful façade, with a sloping red- and gold-colored roof. The interior is equally well decorated, making this temple well worth a visit.
St. George's Church

8) St. George's Church

The St. George's Church, which is named after England’s patron saint, is the oldest Anglican church in all of southeast Asia. Built by convict labor in 1818, it was designed by Captain Robert Smith, a military engineer. A memorial to Captain Francis Light in the form of a Greek temple with a marble slab stands in the grounds of the church. The site is currently undergoing restoration works.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Hainan Temple

9) Hainan Temple

The Hainan Temple, also known as the Temple of the Heavenly Queen, was built in 1866 in a Hainanese style. It is decorated with beautiful stone carvings that echo the Sung dynasty era. The building is decked out in deep red, gold and yellow – the traditional colors of China. Last restored in 1995, it is a wonderful place to visit.

Walking Tours in George Town, Malaysia

Create Your Own Walk in George Town

Create Your Own Walk in George Town

Creating your own self-guided walk in George Town is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Farquhar Street Walking Tour

Farquhar Street Walking Tour

The Farquhar Street is home to a number of interesting historic buildings and other heritage sites. In fact, it has been listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site since 2008. Here you can see the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, the St. Xavier school and the Protestant Cemetery, where Francis Light's tomb is located. While you’re here, take this self-guided walking tour to admire the beautiful...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
George Town Introduction Walking Tour

George Town Introduction Walking Tour

Some felt in Malaya that the city of George Town should be renamed Tanjung Penaga ("Cape Penaga"). That was the name of the area where George Town now stands. But the Chinese, British, Muslim, Malay and Indian movers and shakers of the town wisely declined. It might be bad for business.

Captain Francis Light, R. N., came to Tanjung Penaga in 1786. He wanted to set up an entrepôt for...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles