Melaka Heritage Tip :: Christ Church Melaka

Christ Church is the oldest functioning Protestant church in Malaysia. Construction began in 1741 on the centennial of the Dutch occupation, and it was completed in 1753. Before this date the Dutch used the old Portuguese church atop St. Paul’s hill for their religious services.

Christ Church bears all the hallmarks of 18th-century Dutch architecture: a rectangular plan, massive walls, red granite plinths, and Dutch roof tiles.

The ceiling is 12.2 meters above the floor and the roof beams are each carved out from a single tree. The building’s footprint is a perfect 2:1 proportion: 27 meters on the long end and 13 meters on the short. The pews are original with 200 years old history, and so are the windows, but were reduced in size by the British in the 19th century.

The church bell is inscribed with the date 1698, with its original unknown. Most bizarre are tombstones incorporated into the floor of the church. The tombstones are written in Portuguese and were originally in St. Paul’s Church inside the Portuguese fortress. However, they were removed by the Dutch when they occupied Melaka in 1641. Since it is unlikely that the highly religious Dutch would have used Catholic tombstones inside a Protestant church, historians surmise that they were installed there by the British.

The brass Bible stand inscribed with the first verse of St. John in Dutch and a picture of ‘Last Supper’ in glazed tiles are also found in the Christ Church. Besides, a number of wall anchors unique to Dutch buildings are also found on the Christ Church.

The church is opened for tourists from 9 AM to 6 PM daily.

Location map & photo gallery

Category: Heritage @ Melaka