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Stadthuys, Melaka Overview

Stadthuys is known as the oldest surviving Dutch building in the East, located at the Red Square area of Melaka. Spread over an area of 49,200 square feet, the iconic red terracotta building once served as the official residence of the Dutch governor and officers. It now houses the History and Ethnography Museum showcasing Malaccan culture and traditions.

The word ‘Stadthuys’ means ‘city hall’, and hence, the building is still considered as a very famous city hall by the locals and the public, being one of the oldest buildings of the area in the Dutch colonial architecture. It is a reproduction of the former Stadhuis, town hall of the Frisian town of Hoorn in the Netherlands.

Apart from housing the Ethnography Museum, Stadthuys complex also has the Museum of Literature. It depicts the local legends and accounts through map, prints and photographs. Located nearby is another attraction worth visiting - the Tang Beng Swee Clocktower.

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Inside the Stadthuys

Providing a quick glance at the rich history, culture, and tradition of Melaka, this beautifully crafted building in Dutch architecture still stands today with huge and massive walls, shutter windows, thick and old doors with wrought-iron hinges.

On entering it will gives a feeling of an old yet well-maintained historical building providing all the information about the State and the country of Malaysia. There are costumes along with traditional and historical items that were given by Malay Sultanate to the Portuguese, Dutch and British along with bridal clothes, relics which are 400 years old, currency, stamps, kitchenware, weapons, artifacts and many other items.

Stadthuys, Melaka
Inside the Stadthuys (Source)
The first room of Stadthuys consists of archaeological items from the early settlement in Melaka and of other residents and cultural groups here. There are also items from the colonial era of the Portuguese, Dutch and British. Near Stadthuys is the Tang Beng Swee clock tower built in 1886 by the wealthy Straits of a Chinese family.

How to Reach Stadthuys

The building is very popular and lies in the centre of Old Melaka at Jalan Kota, and so, it can easily be visited by hiring a taxi. Walking from a nearby area is a good option too.

Need to Know

  • Admission to the building allows entry to all the museums inside.
  • Photography is allowed
  • There is no provision for wheelchairs
  • There are free guided tours from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM on weekends.

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