A Famosa History
Why A Famosa says "Anno 1670" when in fact a Famosa’s history dates back to 1511 after the Portuguese conquered Melaka, what is now known as Malacca Malaysia.
The Portuguese in their quest for finding a trading route to India, established outposts like Macau and Goa. Then the Portuguese fleet commanded by Alfonso de Albuquerque set foot on Melaka Malaysia.
The Portuguese attacked and defeated the armies of the Melaka Sultanate. Of course the Sultanate didn’t give up trying to kick the Portuguese out again, so Alfonso de Albuquerque ordered to built the A Famosa fortress.
It was built around a natural hill near the sea and managed to fend of attacks by the armies of Sultan of Melaka for over a century.
Unfortunately for the Portuguese, the Dutch East Indian Company (abbreviated in Dutch to VOC) took over the trading routes and drove the Portuguese out of Melaka in 1641.
The Dutch of course fortified the fortress and added the date ‘ANNO 1670’ on the gate of a Famosa. Notice also the logo of the East Indian Company.
The a Famosa fortress changed hands again in the early 19th century when the Dutch handed it over to the British to keep it out of the hands of French colonizer Napoleon.
Unfortunately for a Famosa: the British were wary of maintaining the fortification and ordered its destruction.
When a Famosa was almost demolished, Sir Stamford Raffles – founder of Singapore -, happened to visit Melaka. Thanks to his passion for history, this gate called Porta de Santiago was spared from destruction.
A Famosa’s historical importance is that this fortress is the oldest remaining Portuguese building in entire Asia.
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