Church of the Assumption, among Penang's historical landmarks
George Town, located in the heart of Penang, has perhaps one of the most diverse religious communities in Malaysia. Here, almost every religion has its own distinct religious architectural abode to serve believers.
Church of St Anne: monument to faith and enduring legacy
The humble legacy of 19th century French missionaries have become among the greatest pilgrimage centres of the region.
Church of the Holy Name of Jesus – a historical church in a sleepy hollow
Old churches are fascinating buildings. Aside from their obvious roles as houses for worship and community gathering, old churches are also well known for their sublime architecture and illustrious histories. The Western continent has some of the finest and world-renowned churches, the mind immediately recalling structures like the early Gothic-styled Notre Dame in Paris (1163), St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican (349AD) and St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City (19th century). Equally fascinating ones also include the Santa Maria Maggiore (430AD) and Santa Prassede (780AD) in Rome and the Saxon Brixworth and Escombe churches in England (around 670AD).
Tow Boo Kong Temple – an epic edifice where gods descend on Earth
This is the most famous place of worship in Raja Uda, and indeed in the whole of Seberang Perai. The intricately designed Tow Boo Kong Temple sited on the northern end of Jalan Raja Uda was built in honour of the Nine Emperor Gods.
Originally set up as just an attap-shed shrine in the early 1970s, the temple was rebuilt to its current scale and grandeur in 2000. The majestic archway was completed in 2009.
The Kapitan Keling – a mosque rich in history
The Kapitan Keling Mosque Kapitan Keling Mosque along Jalan Kapitan Keling (once Pitt Street) is a monumental structure crowned by copper domes. This is the largest historic mosque in George Town, founded around 1800.
The name of the mosque was taken from the Kapitan Kelings, people who were appointed leaders of the South Indian community by the British.
The term "keling" derived from the ancient Hindu kingdom on the Coromandel coast of South India. It was generally used to denote all those who came from there. As the Indians found it difficult to pronounce certain English words, the title "Captain" was somehow transformed into "Kapitan". From there, the Kapitan Kelings (or Captains of the Kelings) came about.
Sanctum sanctorums of the Thai and Burmese communities
In 1845, a large endowment of land in the Pulau Tikus area was made to the Theravada Buddhists, principally Thai and Burmese, whose importance is recorded in local street names to this day. Today, the extensive lands surrounding the Thai Wat Chaiyamangalaram are home to a small and thriving kampong of about thirty families (approximately 120 persons) of Thai Chinese and Hindu Indians. (The Changing Perceptions of Waqf, as Social, Cultural and Symbolic Capital in Penang, Judith Nagata)