St Francis Xavier Church is named after one of Melaka’s most famous residents, St Francis Xavier, the ‘Great Missionary of the East’ who was based in Melaka for several years from 1545 onwards. The saint died in 1552 on the way to China. His body was brought back to Melaka before being shipped to Old Goa where most of his remains still lie.
The church was built in 1849 on the site of an old Portuguese church by a French priest, Father Farve. It was first used in 1856 and was officially completed in 1859. This iconic century-old landmark has been around for more than a century and the church’s building now leans slightly to the left. Why does it lean to the left you ask?
According to some of the locals, Melaka was attacked by artillery fire during World War II, but the church was blessed and avoided destruction. It is thought that only the left side of the building took some damage thus causing the church to tilt to the left.
Yet, there is another story that states that this church was built on the site of a Portuguese church that once stood in 1553. The Portuguese church was then destroyed along with the ancient fortress walls by the Dutch. However, the foundation of the 20-foot-tall building is still buried underground. It is said that the right side of the St. Francis Church was built on the foundation of the collapsed old church and fortress walls which is stabilizing the right side of the church while the left side has no basic support. So as the years passed, the church started leaning to the left. This of course hasn’t been verified but is still intriguing.
Operation Hour : Open 09:00 am – 05:00 pm (Monday-Sunday) & 09:00 am – 01:00 pm (Saturday).
Contact Number : 06-282 4770.
Address : Church of St. Francis Xavier, 12, Jalan Banda Kaba, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka.