It was believed that such fortifications could withstand the encroachments of other European powers eager for a slice of the Asian luxury goods trade.An alliance between the Dutch and the Sultanate of Johor Bahru saw the loss much of Malacca's power.This marked the start of the formation of a large Eurasian community.The Portuguese turned the city into a massive walled fortress complete with a tower bristling with cannon.
The A Famosa gate is all that remains of the old Portuguese and Dutch forts.
They were at first welcomed, but Indian traders soon turned the sultan against the Portuguese and they had to flee.
In 1511 the Portuguese returned, and at their second attempt seized the city.
Its fortunes increased with its official adoption of Islam in the 14th century.
The Sultans of Malacca were soon attracting Arab traders from far afield.
Malacca had a navigable harbor sheltered by nearby Sumatra across the narrow straits.