Kampung Kling Mosque

Kampung Kling Mosque

Idiosyncratic architecture

More on Melaka

Kampung Kling Mosque dates from 1748, making it one of the oldest in Malaysia. For lovers of architecture, Kampung Kling Mosque is a delight, with an eclectic conglomeration of styles that result in a charming idiosyncratic look known as the Melaka Style.

Travelfish says:

At the time of its construction, the neighbourhood (kampung) surrounding the mosque was principally settled by Southern Indians, known by their Malay term, “Kling”. The assemblage of stylistic influence attests to Melaka’s multicultural trading past with its three-tiered-pyramid roofline not unlike a Hindu Meru and Chinese-pagoda-style minaret.

Streetside view. : Sally Arnold.
Streetside view. Photo: Sally Arnold

All Melakan Style mosques of the same period adhere to a similar form, and the stepped roof is also commonly found in mosques in Indonesia, particularly Sumatra and Java (here, too, influenced by earlier Hindu architecture). The staggered roofline allows air and light into the mosque, which is great for a tropical climate.

As well as being practical, symbolically the trio represent, at the top man’s relationship with God; in the middle, his relationship with fellow man; and the lower level, man’s relationship with nature. The pronounced ridges and extended decorative eves on the roof are characteristics found in Chinese architecture, a symbolic representation of a dragon.

Inside Kampung Kling Mosque, one of Malaysia's oldest. : Sally Arnold.
Inside Kampung Kling Mosque, one of Malaysia's oldest. Photo: Sally Arnold

Other Oriental and European embellishments combine Chinese roof tiles, Corinthian columns, floral and patterned tiles similar to those found in Peranakan houses and a Baroque-style fountain in the ablution area, producing an aesthetically pleasing mix.

Visitors are welcome to the mosque outside of prayer times. Modest dress is required, and robes and scarves are available. The intermingling of creeds in this precinct—there's the neighbouring Hindu temple, Sri Poyatha Venayagar Moorthi Temple and nearby Chinese Cheng Hoon Teng Temple—have led this street to being dubbed locally as Harmony Street.

Contact details for Kampung Kling Mosque

Address: Jalan Tukang Emas, Melaka
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º14'51.36" E, 2º11'48.69" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps

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