Fort Cornwallis, Penang
Being the biggest and the most intact fort in Malaysia, the Fort Cornwallis is considered as an important monument and landmark in the historical development of Malaysia, particularly the island of Penang. Fort Cornwallis is situated at the spot where Captain Francis Light was supposed to have landed in 1786. Originally a wooden structure, the fort was rebuilt between 1808 and 1810 with convict labour. It was named after Charles Marquis Cornwallis, a distinguished Governor General of India, and designed as a defense against the French, Kedah, and pirates (at this time Anglo-French rivalry was at a peak).
Even though the fort was originally built for the Royal artillery troops and the military, its function historically was more administrative rather than defense. In its entire history, the fort had never been engaged in any battle.
Today, much of the old fort remains, but its precincts have been converted into a public park and an open air theater. It is still guarded by old cannons, which were retrieved by the British from pirates who had captured them from the Johore Sultanate.
Opening hours: 8.30am-7.00pm daily
Admission: RM1.00 per person
Location: Padang Kota Lama, 10200 Penang, Malaysia. (Fort Cornwallis is on the edge of Central Georgetown on Jalan T. S. S. Barakbah off Lebuh Light.)
Penang Harbour Lighthouse
The second oldest lighthouse in the country located at Fort Cornwallis in Penang is also opened to public admission. Originally known as Fort Point Lighthouse, it underwent renovation in 1914 and 1925, and was renamed the Penang Harbour Lighthouse. Half of George Town can be seen from the 21m-high structure. This lighthouse is special as it is the only one in the country that looks like a ship’s mast. It is also the only one in Peninsular Malaysia that does not serve any navigational purpose. The oldest lighthouse in Malaysia is located in Tanjung Tuan, Malacca. It was built about two years before the Fort Cornwallis lighthouse.