street view of Porta De Santiago (A Famosa) (Google Streetview, 2015)
The fortress was built in 1511 because Commander Albuquerque of the Portuguese fleet believed that Melaka would become an important port linking Portugal and the spice trade from China. At this time other Portuguese were establishing outposts in Macau (China) and Goa (India).
The last remaining gate of the A Famosa fort
(photo from Wikipedia: Chongkian)
Now there is only one gate left. The fort changed hands in 1641 when the Dutch beat the Portuguese. The dutch renovated the gate in 1670 which the logo “anno 1670” inscribed on the gate’s arch. The fortress changed hands again in the early 19th century when the Dutch handed it over to the British to prevent it from falling into the hands of Napoleon’s expansionist France. The English then distroyed the fortress in 1806, only because of the Intervention of Sir Stamford Raffles (the founder of Singapore) a small part could be saved.
built: 1511 by Portuguese Empire
Portugal (1511 - 1641)
Netherlands (1641 - 1795)
Britain (1795 - 1807)
demolished: 1807 (except for the still remaining gate)
The government announced in 2007 that A Famosa will be rebuilt.
>> A Famosa rebuilt