Church of Saint Paul
Name: Church of Saint Paul, St. Paul’s Church
Location: Kota, Banda Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Reason to Visit: one of the oldest churches in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, a historic landmark of Malacca, a holy place of worship of the Catholic church, having a panoramic view of Malacca and look the Strait of Malacca in the distance
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Church of Saint Paul, also known as St. Paul’ s church, is located in Jln Kota, Banda Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia. Built by Portuguese in 1521, the Church of Saint Paul has a history over 500 years. It is one of the oldest churches in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. It was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There is a statue of St. Francis Xavier near the St. Paul’s Church, a famous missionary from Portugal, first spread Catholicism to Malacca and Japan in Asia. In 1670, the Church of Saint Paul was used as castle by Dutch after they occupied Malacca. Today, many bullet holes can still be seen on the outer wall of the Church of Saint Paul. In 1753, another church was built by Dutch. And the Church of Saint Paul, as the graveyard of Dutch nobles, still retains some tombstones engraved with Latin and Portuguese. The Church of Saint Paul is a historic landmark of Malacca, which has witnessed the history of Malacca.
The Statue of St. Francis Xavier
There is a white statue of St. Francis Xavier near the Church of Saint Paul. St. Francis Xavier was the first Jesuit to preach in the East. He was one of the founders of the Jesuits, who first spread Catholicism to Malacca and Japan in Asia. The Catholic church called him the greatest missionary in history. He spread Catholicism to India, Singapore, Malacca and Japan.
In 1551, St. Francis Xavier decided to spread the Catholicism to China and wanted to enter China. But he failed to enter China and died in 1552 because of malaria. He died after he landed in the Shangchuan Island of China. What can comfort St. Francis Xavier is that Matteo Ricci successfully introduced Catholicism into ancient China in 1582. In 1662, St. Francis Xavier was listed as a saint by the Catholic church, and his cemetery became a holy place of worship. The first Christ church built in China was named after St. Francis Xavier to memorize this great missionary.
Things to do at Church of Saint Paul
Climb the St. Paul’s Hill
The Church of Saint Paul is located on the top of the St. Paul’s Hill. To reach the Church of Saint Paul, you need to climb up to the top of the St. Paul’s Hill, which is a little steep to climb. But the view from the top is really worth it with the beautiful scenery and history. You will be immersed yourself in the peaceful and serene atmosphere.
St. Paul’s Hill, also known as Bukit Melaka, Flag Hill and Melaka Hill was the site that the Parasmeswara, who founded the kingdom of Melaka, established the hill and the surrounding area as the administrative center. Both the St. Paul’s Hill and the Church of Saint Paul have witnessed the history of Malacca.
Learn about the Multi-culture of Malaysia
As we all know, Malaysia is a country with multi-culture. During the period of the kingdom of Melaka, palace, mosque and residences were built surrounding the St. Paul’s Hill. In 1511, the buildings were destroyed. A church was built at the top of the St. Paul’s Hill in 1521, which was the earliest Church of Saint Paul. To propagate the Christianity, St. Francis Xavier often came to Melaka and stayed in the church.
The church was badly damaged in 1641 because of the aggression of Netherlands. After repairing and reconstruction, it was named St. Paul’s Church and used to bury the Dutch nobles. After 1824, Melaka was ruled by Britain. The statue of St. Francis Xavier was placed near the church. In 1957, Malaysia won its independence, St. Paul’s Hill was still the administrative center of Malacca state government. The ruins of the Church of Saint Paul remained. It is now the famous tourist attraction of Malacca.
Have a Panoramic View of Malacca
Standing on the top of the St. Paul’s Hill near the Church of Saint Paul. It may be a little hot during your way of climbing to the top of the hill, so you’d better bring a bottle of water and an umbrella with you to avoid the sunshine and heat. Though the weather may be hot, the scenery from the top is worth it.
You can relax as well as overlook the Malacca while standing on the top of the St. Paul’s Hill. You can see the surrounding buildings and landscapes of Malacca. It is recommended to overlook the Malacca on a sunny and clear day to see the distant scenery clearly. And you can even look far into the Strait of Malacca in the distance.
Dutch Square(Red Square) Market
There are some famous attractions of Malacca near the Church of Saint Paul. Dutch Square(Red Square) Market is close to the Church of Saint Paul. It is a square with Dutch colonial architecture. The Christ Church Melaka is most famous among the buildings with the red appearance. The square is full of the Dutch buildings, which are good for taking photos. And the Christ Church Melaka is a famous tourist photo site. Here you can learn the history and culture of the Malacca state and the Strait of Malacca. It is recommended to visit the Dutch Square(Red Square) Market during the sunset when the red buildings are most beautiful under the sunshine.