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George Town World Heritage Site (GTWHS)

A UNESCO World Heritage Site – Melaka & George Town “Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca”

The historic cities of Melaka and George Town, both located along the Straits of Malacca, were inscribed together as a single ‘cultural property’ and listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on 7 July 2008.

Traders and merchants from all over the world were attracted to settle in the port of Melaka from the 15th century and in the port of George Town from the 18th century.

This history has left both sites with an important legacy – multicultural communities and a culturally eclectic urban landscape.

The convergence of many cultures in George Town and Melaka is manifested in the unique multicultural character of buildings, trades, activities, expressions and the on-going exchanges between the various communities.

Boundary Map of George Town World Heritage Site

Outstanding Universal Values (OUV) of GTWHS

Trading Town forged from Multicultural Exchanges 
Melaka and George Town represent exceptional examples of multicultural trading towns in the East and Southeast Asia forged from the mercantile and civilizational exchanges of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European Cultures.


OUV Criteria (ii): exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design.

Testimony to Multicultural Living Tradition 
Melaka and George Town are living testimony to the multicultural heritage and traditions of Asia, where the greatest religions and cultures met. The coexistence of distinct faiths-both tangible and intangible- in particular the different religious buildings, is a testament to the religious pluralism of Asia.

OUV Criteria (iii): bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared.

Outstanding Multicultural Architectural Landscape 
Melaka and George Town reflect the coming together of cultural elements from elsewhere in the Malay Archipelago and from India and China with those of Europe to create a unique architecture, culture and townscape without parallel anywhere in the East and Southeast Asia, in particular a range and exceptional architecture of shophouses and townhouses.


OUV Criteria (iv): be an outstanding example of a type of building or architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history.