Today marked the 500th year since the capture of Malacca by the Portuguese led by Afonso de Albuquerque on 15 August 1511.
I found this last night when my daughter asked me whether (she is eight this year) there is fifteen something years when we count the years in numbers when she saw something of the year 1978. Her enquiring mind sure has expanded her horizon on history and its enlightening to see how young people discovering their “firsts”. It is a joy looking at her growing up. As I answer the question, I have invited her to google into Malacca looking for 1511, mind you this is the only thing I remember from my history text-book (back to anything before Medaka 1957). As we googled we stump upon Wikipedia that shows August 15, 1511 the date the Portuguese captured Malacca!
Without hesitation I Facebook that immediately and this morning I must share this piece of history in my blog!
I quote from Wikipedia: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capture_of_Malacca_(1511), searched on 14 August 2011)
The port city of Malacca controlled the narrow strategic strait of Malacca, through which all sea-going trade between China and India was concentrated. The capture of Malacca was the result of a plan by the King of Portugal Manuel I, who in 1505 had resolved to thwart Muslim trade in the Indian Ocean by capturing Aden, in order to block trade through Alexandria, capturing Ormuz, in order to block trade through Beirut, and Malacca to control trade with China.”
You may also find info about Afonso de Albuquerque in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afonso_de_Albuquerque (searched on 15 August 2011)
“Afonso de Albuquerque[p][n] (or archaically spelt as Aphonso d’Albuquerque and also spelt as Affonso, Alfonso, and Alphonso; Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐˈfõsu dɨ aɫbuˈkɛɾk]; 1453 – December 16, 1515) was a Portuguese fidalgo, or nobleman, an admiral whose military and administrative activities as second governor of Portuguese India conquered and established the Portuguese colonial empire in the Indian Ocean. He is generally considered a world conquest military genius, given his successful strategy: he attempted to close all the Indian ocean naval passages to the Atlantic, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and to the Pacific, transforming it into a Portuguese mare clausum established over the Turkish power and their Muslim and Hindu allies. He was responsible for building numerous fortresses to defend key strategic positions and establishing a net of diplomatic relations. Shortly before his death he was awarded viceroy and “Duke of Goa” by king Manuel I of Portugal, becoming the first Portuguese duke not from the royal family, and the first Portuguese title landed overseas. For some time he was known as The Terrible, The Great, The Caesar of the East, Lion of the Seas and as The Portuguese Mars.”
Today, Malacca has been gazetted as a Historical City and still keeping its charm back into 1511! Go ahead visit Malacca today!