A Famosa is a fortress located in Banda Hilir, Malacca in Malaysia. A Famosa is commonly pronouced as “ei Famosa” although the actual pronounciation is “ah Famosa”. It also means “The Famous” in Portuguese.
Banda Hilir has gone through a major revamp in the past 500 years. No matter what change happens in Banda Hilir, Fort A Famosa stands still for the past 500 years watching the Portuguese era, Dutch era, British era and Malaysia Independence era. Fort A Famosa stands still in daylight or moonlight and rain or shine, glowing and shining at its magnificent original structure left 500 years ago for the mankind to wonder and appreciate history.
Fort A Famosa is situated in Banda Hilir, neighbouring Melaka Palace Muzium, Girls Primary Convent (SRK Sacred Heart Convent), Guys Secondary Convent (SMK St. Francis Xavier) and a walking distance from Melaka Equatorial Hotel. The Famous “Padang Pahlawan” has been replaced with a shopping mall for tourist.
The fortress was build by Portuguese under the command of Afonso de Albuquerque in 1511. The fort consists of four major towers, once upon a time. Inside the fortress walls, lived a village in town houses. As time passed, Malacca’s population grew and extension was added to the original fort.
Yesterday or today, the only obsession which never ends is the war between people, country and nations. In 1641, the fort changed hands to the Dutch. Dutch maintained the fort and did some renovation to the fort in 1670.
The fortress had to go through another change of hands before knowing its final destiny. In 19th century, the Dutch handed the fort to British as prevention over Napoleon’s conquering from France. Unfortunately, the British ordered for fortress destruction in 1806. Sir Stamford Raffles wrote the final destiny of the fortress because of his obsession for history and spared us a small part of the fortress which is called Fort A Famosa till today.