Malaysia - Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca

"Melaka and George Town, historic cities of the Straits of Malacca have developed over 500 years of trading and cultural exchanges between East and West in the Straits of Malacca. 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 15th-century Malay sultanate and the Portuguese and Dutch periods beginning in the early 16th century. Featuring residential and commercial buildings, George Town represents the British era from the end of the 18th century. The two towns constitute a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.

Melaka and George Town, Malaysia, are remarkable examples of historic colonial towns on the Straits of Malacca that demonstrate a succession of historical and cultural influences arising from their former function as trading ports linking East and West. These are the most complete surviving historic city centres on the Straits of Malacca with a multi-cultural living heritage originating from the trade routes from Great Britain and Europe through the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and the Malay Archipelago to China. Both towns bear testimony to a living multi-cultural heritage and tradition of Asia, where the many religions and cultures met and coexisted. They reflect the coming together of cultural elements from the Malay Archipelago, India and China with those of Europe, to create a unique architecture, culture and townscape.

Melaka and George Town represent exceptional examples of multi-cultural trading towns in East and Southeast Asia, forged from the mercantile and exchanges of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures and three successive European colonial powers for almost 500 years, each with its imprints on the architecture and urban form, technology and monumental art. Both towns show different stages of development and the successive changes over a long span of time and are thus complementary.

Melaka and George Town are living testimony to the multi-cultural heritage and tradition of Asia, and European colonial influences. This multi-cultural tangible and intangible heritage is expressed in the great variety of religious buildings of different faiths, ethnic quarters, the many languages, worship and religious festivals, dances, costumes, art and music, food, and daily life.

Melaka and George Town reflect a mixture of influences which have created a unique architec¬ture, culture and townscape without parallel anywhere in East and South Asia. In particular, they demonstrate an exceptional range of shophouses and townhouses. These buildings show many different types and stages of development of the building type, some originating in the Dutch or Portuguese periods.

The integrity of the nominated areas in both towns is related to the presence of all the elements necessary to express their Outstanding Universal Value. The properties have retained their authenticity; listed monuments and sites have been restored with appropriate treatments regarding design, materials, methodologies, techniques and workmanship, in accordance with conservation guidelines and principles." Source: UNESCO World Heritage.

I created these maxicards and matching postcards with UNESCO stamps of Melaka (Malacca) and George Town (Penang).

A) Melaka - Dutch Studhuys

B) George Town - British Colonial City Hall

C) George Town - Clock Tower and Custom Hall

Postcard 1A - Melaka (1223-001, 2008)
I visited Jonker Street of Melaka. Mailed this postcard from the mailbox in Jonker Street Chinatown area.

Postcard 1B - Melaka
I visited Melaka and saw this famous landmark Masjid Kampung Kling Mosque with Sumatran architecture and strong Hindu influence - one of the oldest mosque in Malaysia. Mailed with matching stamp from Melaka postmarked February 7, 2012 and arrived in Penang on February 10, 2012.

Postcard 1C - Melaka
Old Chinese houses lining Malacca river. I mailed using a Melaka Pos Office Letter Box stamp from Melaka.

Postcard 1D - Melaka
Intricate gable of Poh San Teng Temple, Bukit Cina of Melaka with UNESCO World Heritage logo. Thanks to Nurul of Malaysia.

Postcard 1E - Melaka aerial view
Extra large size (21x15 cm) postcard of Melaka aerial view with the Malacca river.

Postcard 1F - Melaka - Fort Santiago
Melaka (Malacca) started in 1402 AD as a spice port by a Sumatran Prince Parameswara in the Straits of Malacca (Melaka). It was captured in 1511 by the Portuguese. Here are the ruins of the Famosa Fort and St. Paul's church. Stamps of Melaka State Emblem. Thanks to Azri of Melaka.

Postcard 1G - Melaka - Red Stadhuys
The Dutch took over Melaka from the Portuguse in 1624. The Red Stadhuys with the Clock tower and Church are in the heart of downtown Melaka.

Postcard 1H - Melaka Craftsman
A black and white postcard of a craftsman in Melaka - barrel maker at Jalan Hang Kasturi, Melaka. Postcard with UNESCO World Heritage logo. Designed and mailed from Melaka by Tiko - thanks.

Postcard 2A - George Town (1223-002, 2008)
Extra large size (21x15cm) postcard of George Town aerial view showing the harbor.

Postcard 2B - George Town
Before the bridge was built, the only way to get to the island is by ferry. This is an older postcard - the ferries are now painted in multi-colors. There is also an international airport in Penang island. George Town was established in 1786 by Sir Captain Francis Light as an English port between China and India.

Postcard 2C - George Town
George Town's population is mainly Chinese. You can see many beautiful Chinese clan houses like this Khoo Kongsi. Artisans from China were recruited to built this now famous tourist destination.

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