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Malacca ~ 1511

     The plan of Malaca on the stamp, issued as a part of a set of five stamps celebrating Portuguese influence in Asia, is entitled Demonstração da Fortaleza de Malaca. The design is based on an old Portuguese map of Malaca from the 1630’s, taken from O Livro das Plantas das Fortalezas, Cidades e Povoaçoes do Estado da India Oriental.

SCN 605

     The village of Malacca fell to the Portuguese in 1511. The commander, Alfonso de Albuquerque had the fortress built around a natural hill near the sea. The fortress consisted of long ramparts and four major towers. One was a four-story keep, while the others held an ammunition storage room, the residence of the captain, and an officers’ quarters. As the plan shows, most of the village clustered in town houses inside the fortress walls. As Malacca’s population expanded it outgrew the original fort and extensions were added around 1586.