Malacca was founded around 1400 by Iskandar Shah, the last Raja of present day Singapore. Because of its strategic position and exceptional facilities, Malacca quickly became one of the most important ports in the region, though this period of prosperity ended in 1511 when the city was conquered by the Portuguese. This change in leadership threw the region into turmoil, and though the city would come under Dutch and British rule in the following centuries, it never reached the same level of importance. This slowdown ended up being a cultural boon for the city, as 500 years of multicultural history have been preserved. The heart of the city is the ‘Red Square’, a series of 17th century Dutch buildings that are believed to be the oldest of their kind in the east. Visitors will also find the remains of a 16th century Portuguese fort, and a wide variety of cultural monuments, from a floating Mosque, to temples from several different religions on Harmony Street.
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