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Fort Cornwallis

Delve into Penang's colonial past in the largest and one of the oldest forts in Malaysia.

Overlooking the sea, Fort Cornwallis gives a glimpse into life for British governors and civil servants based in Malaysia during colonial times (early 1800s). Walk into the past with original colonial structures, artefacts and guides decked out in red colonial soldier outfits.

Greeting visitors at the fort entrance is a grandiose statue of Sir Francis Light, who commissioned the building of the fort in 1786 to protect the British trade route from foreign military forces and pirates. Originally built from palm trunks, the fort was replaced with a sturdier star-shaped, stone and brick structure in 1810.

Fort Cornwallis never witnessed any battles and much of its structure remains intact, making it an interesting stroll for history fans. Duck into the gunpowder magazine, see the first Christian chapel in Penang, and go behind bars at the small jail cell to have your photo taken, complete with the prisoner's cell number.

One of the highlights of the fort is the Seri Rambai Cannon, the largest of Fort Cornwallis’ 17 cannons. Originally a gift from the Dutch to the Sultan of Johor in 1606, the Sri Rambai follows an eventful history of Portuguese and British ownership. Curiously, the historic cannon is locally believed to relieve infertile women of their plight. Peek into the barrel to find flowers dedicated by women hoping to increase their chances of conceiving.

A casual walk around the fort can be easily completed in less than an hour, but for a more insightful visit, you can opt for a tour with a knowledgeable guide for a small fee. Souvenirs and light refreshments are available at the kiosk near the entrance.

Fort Cornwallis is located in Georgetown, easily accessible by public transportation and close to the Victoria Memorial Clock on the Esplanade. Open daily, the fort charges a nominal fee for entry.


Guide to Exploring Fort Cornwallis


Map

Top Fort Cornwallis Hotel Deals

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Eastern And Oriental Hotel RM636
Eastern And Oriental Hotel

Eastern And Oriental Hotel

10 Lebuh Farquhar, George Town, Penang
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly George Town hotel is located on the waterfront, within a 15-minute walk of Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion and Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal. KOMTAR and Penang Times Square are also within 1 mile (2 km).

    Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La RM212
    Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La

    Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La

    Magazine Road, George Town, Penang
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly George Town hotel is located in the shopping district, within a 5-minute walk of KOMTAR, 1st Avenue Mall and Prangin Mall.

      Reunion Carnarvon RM91
      Reunion Carnarvon

      Reunion Carnarvon

      No.218, Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town, Penang
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown George Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Penang Islamic Museum and KOMTAR. Penang Times Square and Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal are also within 1 mile (2 km).

        Loop On Leith George Town Penang Hotel by Compass Hospitality RM117
        Loop On Leith George Town Penang Hotel by Compass Hospitality

        Loop On Leith George Town Penang Hotel by Compass Hospitality

        29 Leith Street, George Town, Penang
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown George Town, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion and KOMTAR. Penang Times Square and Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal are also within 1 mile (2 km).

          The Chambers RM188
          The Chambers

          The Chambers

          1st & 2nd floor 23 Light Street, Georgetown, George Town, Penang
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Downtown George Town, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of House of Yeap Chor Ee and Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal. KOMTAR and Penang Times Square are also within 2 miles (3 km).

            Friendship Motel RM62
            Friendship Motel

            Friendship Motel

            20, Penang Street, Georgetown, George Town, Penang
               
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Downtown George Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of House of Yeap Chor Ee and Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal. KOMTAR and Penang Times Square are also within 2 miles (3 km).

              Merlin Hotel RM89
              Merlin Hotel

              Merlin Hotel

              No 1 Lebuh, Georgetown, George Town, Penang
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Downtown George Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of House of Yeap Chor Ee and Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal. KOMTAR and Penang Times Square are also within 2 miles (3 km).

                The Prestige Hotel Penang RM280
                The Prestige Hotel Penang

                The Prestige Hotel Penang

                8 Gat Lebuh Gereja, George Town
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown George Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Pinang Peranakan Mansion and Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal. KOMTAR and Penang Times Square are also within 2 miles (3 km).