A stroll through the various streets in George Town brings one back into historical times.
Pre-war houses and heritage buildings can be easily seen in most parts of George Town.
Built during the British rule, Fort Cornwallis is the largest fort still remaining in Malaysia. This old star-shaped fort is situated at the north-eastern side of Penang island. The fort is named after Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis who was the Governor General of Bengal, India in the late 18th century.
Captain Sir Francis Light took possession of the island from the Sultan of Kedah in 1786 and built the original fort. It was a nibong (Malay: palm trunk) stockade with no permanent structures, covering an area of 417.6 square feet (38.80 m2). Despite the fort’s original purpose to serve the Royal artillery troops and the military, historically it was more for administrative purpose than defensive.
The Church of the Assumption is located at Farquhar Street, George Town, Penang and it is nearby St George’s Cathedral. The Church of the Assumption was founded in 1786, when Captain Francis Light first came to Penang. It remained as the seat of the bishop of Penang from 1955-2003 and it is also a World Heritage Church.
In 1786, Captain Francis Light landed on Penang Island and named it Prince of Wales Island. He set up the Fort Cornwallis. In conjunction with their landing in Penang which coincides with the feast of the Assumption of The Blessed Mary on 15 August that year, he and his companions built a church and named it Church of the Assumption. It was the first Roman Catholic church in the northern region of Malaysia, as well as the first church built after the British landed in Penang. They went on to control Malaya later on.
The Beach Street of Georgetown, Penang is a busy street during the weekdays as it is also known as Penang’s banking or financial district. Rows of historical and heritage buildings converted into banks and financial institutions lined up the street. Most of these heritage buildings retain their old appearance and architecture despite being used as modern financial centers by their owners. The street begins from the roundabout near Persiaran King Edward right up to Chulia Street.
A Brief Info
One of the oldest Chinese temples in Penang, the Kuan Yin temple at Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (previously known as Pitts Street), was built in the 1800s dedicated to The Goddess of Mercy or Kuan Yin. The Kuan Yin Temple is not only popular with the local devotees of the goddess, but also with tourists from many countries. The temple is decorated with carvings of dragon on pillars and its roof as well as many mythical creatures of Chinese beliefs.
A Brief Intro
The Acheen Street Mosque located in Georgetown (Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh) was founded by Tengku Syed Hussain Al-Aidid in 1808. The mosque is surrounded by rows of heritage shophouses, as well as a a cemetery including the mausoleum of Syed Hussain and his family, mid-19th Century town houses and an octagonal minaret. Veing one of the oldest in Penang, the mosque complex depicts an early Muslim urban community in Penang comprising of the Malays, Indian Muslims, Arabs and the Achehnese.
This Beach Street fire station was opened for operations in 1909, one of the only two fire stations on the island at that time. Before this, the policemen were the only paid force on call to put out fires. It is also considered as a landmark in the area with its four-storey tower which was designed and built with both western and mughal influences.
The Standard Chartered Bank of Penang is an old building dated back during the British Colonization with British Palladian architecture. The bank is located at Beach Street, Georgetown, the island’s ‘financial district’.
The Palladian architecture is a European style of architecture derived from the designs of the Venetian architect Andrea Palladio. The design was briefly popular in Britain during the 17th to 18th century.