Saturday, June 08, 2013

Malacca’s Jonker Street and Millionaires’ Row

Malaysia's varied architecture is attributable to her rich history of the various occupations throughout the centuries. Malacca is a good example of the different types of colonial buildings that are still in existence today.

This is Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock in Malacca or used to be known as Heeren Street where once the place to live for those who made it to the top.

Originally called “Kampung Belanda” (Dutch Village), it ended up with the nickname of “Millionaires’ Row” because of its well-heeled residents.

The narrow street with houses adorned with ornately decorated façades was the choice neighbourhood for the prosperous Straits-born Chinese (Peranakan or Babas and Nyonyas) in the mid-19th and early 20th century.

These affluent folks competed with each other to build the most flamboyant of houses, many of which stand to this day.

While Jonker Street (from the Dutch Jonghheer) was named after a place for “young noblemen” who had not quite made it to the upper level of nobility.

Heeren Street (originally Heeren­straat), was for the “gentlemen” or “masters” in the upper crust of society.

The characteristic features of most buildings are high roofs, floors and corridors lined with intricate tiles, teak front doors carved with family names or mottos in gold calligraphy.

Most windows are also beautifully decorated with motifs while some homes even have decorated roofs with image of dragons, birds and flowers.

The houses on the street are rather narrow and small when viewed from the outside but are long and spacious inside.

This is because the houseowners then were taxed on the width of the buildings instead of the total area.

Continue reading Malacca’s Millionaires’ Row.. The Star

Malacca City was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with George Town of Penang on 7 July 2008. Malacca is approximately a two-hour drive away from Kuala Lumpur to the south.

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