When Johann Anton arrived in Malacca, the VOC (Dutch East Indies Company) had been in control for 150 years, since 1641. Malacca was a melting pot of many cultures and races. There was a minority ruling class of Europeans, mainly Dutch Burghers as well as a diversed asian community comprising the Chinese, Malays, Indian Muslims, Indian Hindus. There was also a large number of mixed races such as the Peranakan, Jawi Pekan and Portuguese descendants. Each community kept very much to themselves and practiced their own customs and religions. This may be seen from the map identifying segregated living areas such as Kg. China (Chinese village), Kg. Keling (Indian village) and so on. The Portuguese Eurasians were centered around Tenquera and Bandahilir. The Dutch ruling class lived mainly within the Malacca Fort while other Europeans and Burghers lived mainly in Herenstraat (now known as Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock) and Jonkerstraat (Jonker Street).
J.A. would have witnessed the splendor of the Malacca Fort. This magnificent fort was originally built and improved upon by the Portuguese over their 130 year rule of Malacca. They named it A'Famosa (The famous one). During the battle with the Dutch in 1641, parts of it were destroyed or badly damaged. After it's capture, the Dutch reconstructed the fort and made more improvements to it. Sadly, the fort was destroyed by the British in 1807.