Pipe Organs of Malaysia
Christ Church was built to commemorate a century of Dutch rule in Malacca. Construction began in 1741, and completed in 1753. It follows an extremely simple design, which is a quintessential church of Dutch architecture - rectangular, with massive walls, red granith plinths and Dutch roof tiles. It is perfectly proportion to the ratio of 2:1, 27 metres long by 13 metres wide. There are no aisles or chancel. However, it has beautifully hand-carved pews, and the massive 15-metre long timber beams supporting its roof were cut from a single tree.
Christ Church is the oldest Protestant church in Malaysia. Its bricks were specially brought in from Zeeland in Holland. Its porch and vestry were added a hundred years later. Encased into the floor of the church are tombstones. Some are written in Portuguese and a few in Armenian. Some historians believe that these originally came from St. Paul's Church up on the hill. Who put them here is debateable. They could have been placed here by the Dutch when they occupied Melaka in 1641. However, it is unlikely that the highly religious Dutch would have placed Catholic tombstones inside their Protestant church. Another possibility is that they were installed there much later, by the British.
When the British took over Malacca, they converted Christ Church for Anglican worship and added the weathercock and bell tower. Fortunately, they left the old Dutch tombstones that were laid in the floor where they are, and they remain to this day reminding visitors of the Dutch legacy in Malacca.
Specification of the organ is:
Organ photograph and specification provided by Leonard Selva.
Historical detail from Asia Explorers.
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