A Famosa, which means ‘The Famous’ in Portuguese, is one of the oldest surviving European architecture in Asia. The only remnant that history has spared of this once mighty fortress is the tiny gate called the Porta de Santiago. The fort changed hands in 1641 when the Dutch reigned after they successfully drove the Portuguese out of Melaka.
The Dutch renovated the gate in 1670, which explains the logo “ANNO 1670” inscribed on the gate’s arch. Above the arch is a bas-relief logo of the Dutch East India Company.
The fortress changed hands again in the early 19th century when the Dutch handed it over to the British to prevent Melaka from falling into the hands of Napoleon’s expansionist France.