Saint Paul Church Malacca

Saint Paul Church Malacca situated at Saint Paul Hill, the highest point in Malacca City. Its was built by Portuguese Duarte Coelho the founder of Cochin China in 1521 after his survival from a corsair attack in South China Sea. At that point the Saint Paul Church was known as ‘de Nossa Senyora de Oiteru’ or Our Lady of the Hills. In the year 1548, Saint Paul Church Malacca was handed over to Society of Jesus, headed by the Pope St. Francis Xavier. In the year 1556 until the year 1590, the Church was enlarged by the addition of a second floor and construction of the bell tower. The Saint Paul Church was then renamed the Igreja da Madre de Deus (Church of the Mother of God). In 1548, St. Francis Xavier with the help of friends have set up a school in the church, the school believed to be the first school in the history of modern era in Malaysia. The Church was use as a base by St. Francis Xavier for his missionary to expand Christian religious to China and Japan. In 1552, St. Francis Xavier died during one of his journey, to honor his request that his wanted to be buried in Goa India, is remains was buried in the Church for nine months before shipped to Goa India.

saint paul church malacca
Statue Saint Paul without Right Arm

When Dutch invaded Malacca in 1641, Dutch used Saint Paul Church Malacca temporary as main Church for Dutch community until 1753 when Dutch own Church completed. Not like Portuguese, Dutch people prefer to stay on the flat area similar to their country terrain. Later the Church was used by Dutch community as cemetery area. A huge Dutch graveyard can be found surrounding the Saint Paul Church. During British time, the Church has been used as a warehouse to store explosives and ammunition. Due it location on the top of Hill, British built a lighthouse at the front of Church.

saint paul church malacca
Old Tombstone and Cenotaph in Saint Paul Church

 

 

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