This massive red building was built between 1641 and 1660 on the ruins of a Portuguese fort, and is believed to be the oldest Dutch building in the East. It displays all the typical features of Dutch colonial architecture, including substantial solid doors and louvred windows. For over 300 years, from its completion until 1980, it was the administrative centre of successive governments.
Today, the Dutch legacy is very much alive. In 1982, the Stadhuys was converted into a history museum. Exhibits trace Melaka's history, from the great Malay Sultanate and the Portuguese, Dutch and British invasions, to the present day. (article from www.virtualmalaysia.com)