The Hidden Walls of Fort Malacca

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A couple of weeks ago, I was in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Malacca for a short holiday – it’s a popular tourist spot for quick getways, a mere 2-3 hours away from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, great food and plenty of sights to see. With the new World Heritage listing, the town has spruced itself up pretty well. The last time I was there, which was two years ago, I narrowly missed out on the discovery of the ancient walls of Fort Malacca. This time round, I knew it had to be on my list of things to see.

Malacca, World Heritage City

Malacca, World Heritage City

 

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Ancient wall found beneath Malacca

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30 November – 3 December (Various news sources, see below) – The news broke while I was bedridden with a particularly nasty fever, which explains the flurry of updates today. An piece of wall dated to Dutch Malacca was unearthed while work was underway for a controversial revolving tower in the historic city center. Here’s the news as it broke:

30 November 2006 (The Star) – Ancient wall find halts tower work
1 December 2006 (The Star) – Blocks similar to earlier find
1 December 2006 (New Straits Times) – Excavation for Malacca tower project unearths ruins of Dutch fort
1 December 2006 (Bernama) – Survey tower site possible Dutch fort
2 December 2006 (The Star) – Digging deep to verify Malacca wall status
2 December 2006 (New Straits Times) – Ancient wall most likely part of a Dutch fort
3 December 2006 (The Star) – Mohd Khalil visits site of ancient wall
3 December 2006 (Bernama) – Ancient wall discovery needs further study, says Rais

Strangely enough, I was just in Malacca last weekend. The city is certainly very historical, and there’s a lot of living heritage present as well. For now, the work on the tower has been suspended for a couple of weeks while archaeologists try to ascertain the structure the wall belongs to. The unearthed structure is believed to be part of a Dutch fort and may date between 1641 and 1824.