While in the country, you will find many different tourist attractions in Malaysia, with one of the most popular options being the City Hall. The City Hall is sometimes referred to as Georgetown City Hall due to its location in Georgetown, Penang. In Malay, the building is referred to as Dewan Bandaraya and the architecture as well as history are part of what make it one of the popular places to visit in Penang.
The City Hall itself is a gorgeous two-storey ivory mansion that was originally built in 1903. Its style is Edwardian Baroque and it represents British Palladian architecture. While examining the building, you will notice large windows as well as Corinthian columns, both of which add to the beautiful architectural design. You can tell that this building uses British architecture by imply looking at it. Also at City Hall you will be able to find the WWI monument to fallen soldiers, so make sure not to miss it.
Although constructed in 1903, City Hall did not open until 1906. At this point, it was referred to as the Municipal Office, with the name change occurring in 1957 when Georgetown officially became a city. In addition to its pull as one of popular attractions for architecture aficionados, City Hall is one of the most interesting places in Malaysia due to its history with electricity. In fact, the building was one of the very first buildings within Georgetown to have electric lights fitted throughout, courtesy of the Huttenbach Brothers.
Throughout the years, there has been restoration and well as minor changes to the building, including renovation between 2004 and 2005. The building became a national monument in 1982 as part of the Antiquities Act 1976, solidifying its status as one of the important places to visit in Malaysia.
As it is situated on the Esplanade, a popular seafront promenade, City Hall is surrounded by some of the most important things to do in Penang, especially for those who want to explore Georgetown in particular. In fact, other key points of interest on or immediately next to the Esplanade include the Town Hall, Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, Fort Cornwallis, Logan Memorial, Cenotaph, and the State Legislative Assembly building.
In the center of all these beautiful and interesting tourist attractions, you will find a public park that has been beautifully landscaped and well-maintained. If you time your visit correctly, you will even be able to visit the City Hall and enjoy the Chap Goh Meh celebration. This annual event has been taking place since the 1800s and translates to Chinese Valentine’s Day. You will still find eligible young locals throwing Mandarin oranges in the water to help them find a desirable suitor.
Whether you visit City Hall by itself or happen to do so during Chap Goh Meh, it is important to remember that everything you view is an important part of the Malaysian culture. As such, you should respect everything you see and do your part to ensure the attractions remain for future visitors by refraining from damaging buildings and always disposing of garbage in the appropriate spots. Taking care of sites like City Hall is easy as there are a lot of places to deposit trash without going out of your way to do so.