The local name for Melaka over the years

The Malay town (and state) of Melaka is known in other countries under different names. Especially since the town has been under the rule of different colonial powers, it can be confusing for many how to call it. We give give the chronological order of the official local name for the town.

Melaka was already a flourishing Malay harbor town when the Portuguese conquered it in in 1511, and called it Malaca.

After more than a century of monopolised Portuguese trade in the harbor, the Dutch decided it was enough, they defeated the Portuguese and colonised the city, only to apply the same monopolistic rules, but then for the Dutch. The Dutch name for the city was (and still is) Malakka, although it is often misspelled as Melakka.

When Holland was occupied by the French, the English made an arrangement with the Dutch to watch over the city, and the name turned into Malacca, with double c. Internationally, the city is still known under this name. After the French occupation of Holland, the Dutch didn't return, but exchanged it for Benkulu, so the town stayed under English rule.

Finally, after the second World War, Melaka became part of the independent Malaysian Union (with Singapore and Penang), in 1957 of the Malaysian federation, and from 1963 of Malaysia.

You can find our adventure travel tales and tips for the town of Malacca here

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