Portuguese Village (Medan Portugis)
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What we say:
Melaka is known for its Chinatown, Dutch Square and the Malay settlement of Kampung Morten, but the Portuguese Village on the outskirts of town is also worth a trip.
Melaka was a colony of Portugal from 1511 to 1641, and marriages between the colonisers and local people resulted in a unique "Eurasian" culture that has survived to this day. The Portuguese village itself was only created in the 1930s when British colonial rulers granted 28 acres of seaside land to the Portuguese descendents. Many speak a distinct dialect known as Kristang and most are still devoutly Catholic, evidenced by a shrine to San Pedro (St Peter) in the village centre.
A small village museum chronicles the history of the Portuguese descendents through artifacts and exhibitions. The village is set in a pleasant and quiet seaside locale by day that becomes lively in the evening when several seafood restaurants open. An outdoor stage hosts weekend performances of Portuguese music and dance, and the entire village comes to life during annual religious festivals, of which the Festa San Pedro held in late June is probably the best. Christmas and Easter also see lively festivities in the village.
More detailsHow to get there: The Portuguese Village is located along the coast about four kilometres east of downtown Melaka. It’s ideal for a bike ride or you can get here via bus #17 from Dutch Square. The Portuguese Settlement Museum is maintained by Mr Edgar, an elder from the community, and he’s usually around from 09:00 till 17:00 on weekdays, but it’s worth calling to confirm - (06) 284 9157.
Last updated: 6th June, 2013
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