Rebuilt by the Dutch in the 18th century on a hill 3km from the Melaka city centre, St. John's Fort was once a private Portuguese chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
The fort has an interesting feature - cannons facing inland instead of the sea, as during that time, attacks on Melaka came mainly from the hinterland and not the sea.
Some of the original bronze cannons are still found in a well preserved condition inside the fort, inscribed "Jan Albert de Grave, Amstelodami", a common marking of Amsterdam castings of the period were marked.
Jan Albert de Grave was the bell-maker to the city of Amsterdam during the period of 1699-1729. During times of war, bell-making was suspended as the manufacture of guns and cannons took precedence.