Thursday, March 24, 2011

Malacca Maritime Museum

This imposing structure along Jalan Quayside is the most visited museum in Malacca. It is definitely a must see museum when visiting Malacca.

The Maritime Museum is actually a replica of a Portuguese galleon "Flor De La Mar" (Flower of the Seas). I been told the actual galleon is much bigger than this replica. The museum measures 110 feet long and 22 feet wide with its interior modified to adopt its purpose as a museum.

Herein lies in the cargo hold the invaluable treasure of the nation, taken away by the colonial masters after they had conquered Malacca in 1511.

But by the will of God, the ship sank on 26 January 1512 in the Straits of Malacca on her voyage to Europe.

The museum is open daily from 9am - 5pm with the exception of Friday to Sunday where it is closed at 8.30pm. Entrance fee is RM 3 for adult and RM 1 for children below 12 years old. Admission is free for children below 6 years old. A ticket here will entitle the visitors to enter 2 additional museum, the Maritime Museum Phase II and the Royal Malaysian Navy Museum.

This museum features the maritime history of Malacca from the four eras, namely the Golden Era of the Malacca Malay Sultanate (1400-1511), the Portuguese Era (1511-1641), the Dutch Era (1641-1795) and the British Era (1824-1957) up to the time of independence of Malaya in 1957.

The main focus of the museum is on Malacca's maritime history and its glory. Its exhibits include a variety of spices, a diorama, audio visual, ancient maps, models of ships and artifacts.

The Malacca Port diorama visualizes the liveliness of the trading activity in the port during the Malacca Malay Sultanate. Ships laden with cargo from all over the world came in turns to seek riches and fortunes. In Malay World, in line with its popularity as the Venice of the East. Malacca offered a large variety of merchandise including spices, silk and porcelain. Traders from Arab, China, India and Malay Archipelago bargained and sold their merchandise and obtained large profits.

Ancient stamps which depict the war ships of foreign conqueror, ancient galleys, modern vessels and the potraits of the great navigators

Display of the Malacca Sultanate tin coinage from 1400 to 1510

Weapons used by foreign conqueror which at the time were more superior and advance than the locals.

This is the statue of Hang Tuah, a legendary warrior/hero who lived in the 15th century of the Sultanate of Malacca. He was regarded as the greatest of all the Sultan's admirals and known to be ferocious fighter.

Alfonso de Albuquerque was instrumental in forming the Portuguese administration system in Malacca. He also initiated the construction of the defense fortress known as the A Famosa.

This is actually a sad picture of the ship where the ship ballast tank at the stern was used as detention room. This detention room held prisoners of war of all races, slaves and sailors who had committed crimes, while awaiting their punishment. Cramped against each other in a dark and congested room, these prisoners had totally lost their freedom. The fate of these slaves and prisoners was determined upon their arrival at the ports. It was in this room that Albuqueque was believed to have held a large number of Malays with various expertise to be taken back to Portugal to serve her King and country.

This museum serves to remind the Malaysians that when we lose political power, we lose everything

No comments: