A popular tourist destination, the Malaysian state of Penang gives visitors a chance to experience both the country’s urban development and rich cultural heritage. Located on Peninsular Malaysia’s northwest coast, the state has lush scenic areas, idyllic beaches and many historical sites that showcase fascinating architectural design styles from years’ past. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Penang’s George Town is home to many of these structures such as Fort Cornwallis.
The country’s largest standing fort, this historic site can be found within easy reach of the Esplanade. Shaped like a star, this striking bastion dates back to the 18th century when the British first arrived under Sir Captain Francis Light, who belonged to the British East India Company. Named after Marquis Charles Cornwallis, it was initially constructed as a form of defence against pirates and invading forces, though was subsequently used for administrative purposes as well.
Today, Fort Cornwallis offers visitors a chance to step back in time as it were and explore this historical site. As you enter this well known attraction you will come across a statue made from bronze of the famous Captain Francis Light. This statue was sculpted in 1936 as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations, commemorating the landing of the British.
As you continue your tour make sure to visit the site of the Sri Rambai cannon which has a long and colourful history as well as being considered a symbol of fertility! Built in 1814, the gun powder magazine is another site of interest. Constructed by the British in order to store their explosives, this structure was made with thick walls and was strategically positioned near the cannons.
Also at Fort Cornwallis you will find a Christian chapel that dates back to 1799. Located in the fort’s south west corner, the chapel is considered one of Penang’s earliest roofed structures. While on your tour do not forget to visit the barracks and the old jail cell in particular that goes back to 1811.