Jalan Merdeka at Carcosa Seri Negara

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The Carcosa Seri Negara I know used to be a super luxurious hotel, owned by the Malaysian Government located in the lush landscapes of the Lake Gardens

It consists of two gorgeous colonial mansions, one named Carcosa, the other Seri Negara… and to be absolutely honest… this “frog that crawled out from under the coconut shell” / ignoramus just realised that it consist of two mansions, not just one as I always thought it to be… hahaha

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Anyway, the Carcosa mansion was built in 1896-1897 as the official residence of Sir Frank Swettenham, the first British High Commissioner in Malaya … It was built at a cost of about $25,000 with an eclectic fusion of Neo-Gothic and Tudor Revival styles and the mansion came with more than eight bedrooms including master bedroom and guest rooms; and eleven bathrooms…

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On the other hand, Seri Negara or translated means “Beautiful Country” in Malay, was originally known as the Governor’s Residence when it was opened in 1913 as the official guest house of Governor of the Straits Settlement. It was later known as the King’s House.

King’s House was vacated by the British High Commissioner on August 31, 1957, and returned to the Malayan Government. It was then opened as the Istana Tetamu (Guest’s Palace), hosting many dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip back in 1987…

The two colonial mansions have however gotten old and finally vacant when the management decided to stop operations..

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The Carcosa Seri Negara has been designated as one of the heritage building of the country, being protected by the National Heritage Act and the Asian Heritage Museum (AHM) has taken over the refurbishments and care of the buildings and will be using it as a museum, performing arts and cultural event space, a resource centre on the history of the building, and more.

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Did you know Seri Negara actually played a very significant role as the historical location where the Malay rulers signed the Federation of Malaya Agreement back in 1957…

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So with that in mind, the AHM council has turned the gorgeous mansions into an exhibition venue you can now visit called “Jalan Merdeka”

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Thanks to Gaya Travel Magazine and the Kuala Lumpur Travel Bureau, we were fortunate to get to visit the Carcosa Seri Negara and the exhibition…

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The Jalan Merdeka exhibition goes way beyond the official story of Malaysia’s independence to explore rarely-told perspectives, including those of the labour communities and opposition forces, the impact of the Cold War, and more.

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The exhibition is specially curated to show different perspectives by highlighting the roles of normal people and not just the political elites and visitors to the Jalan Merdeka exhibition at the beautiful Carcosa Seri Negara will get to view never-before-seen artefacts including the table used in the signing of the agreement, newspaper articles, and materials from opposition parties in the 1940s… and even the actual flag that was used on 31st August 1957 at the Merdeka Square…, all thanks to the cooperation with the National Archives of Malaysia….

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This exhibition is naturally different from all the other Merdeka-themed exhibitions since this exhibition is more specially focused on the events held in Carcosa Seri Negara and not just about the well-known Dataran Merdeka…

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Whatever it is, do take this amazing opportunity to visit the Carcosa Seri Negara and check out how our Independence was planned and signed here before it was declared.. and what happened before it…

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Of course, do not forget to take pictures here… as the mansions are just so gorgeous and picturesque…

Address- Persiaran Tuanku Ja’afar, Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

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