By: M. Farid W Makkulau
An ancient architecture of European style stands firmly in Sinjai District, South Sulawesi is crowded on holidays. Its a fortress of the past as a symbol of the unity of the three kingdoms and became a fortress for the Dutch colonial still keeps a glimmer of charm and mystery.
The Balangnipa fortress, located in the Balangnipa Village, North Sinjai District, Sinjai Regency, South Sulawesi was established in 1557 by three local kingdoms namely Bulo-bulo, Lamatti and Tondong Kingdoms later known as Tellulimpoe Kingdom.
Pomp and robustness Balangnipa Fortress began in the early sixteenth century, or about the year 1557 by the Royal of Lamatti, Tondong, Bulo-Bulo (Tellulimpoe Group) that at the beginning of its development only made of mountain stone tied with Mud River Tangka with wall thickness “Siwali Reppa”.
The shape and structure of the building overlooking the Balangnipa fort in northern Tangka. The Balangnipa fort has 4 Bastion Defense that form a rectangle oval.
Resistance against aggression Tellulimpoe royal Dutch military in history known as “Rumpa’na Mangarabombang” (The War of Mangarabombang) that took place in 1859-1961.
The Balangnipa fort was captured in 1859 because of the power and the kingdom of war equipment Tellulimpoe not comparable with those of the Netherlands. Holland then make castle of Balangnipa as defense headquarters to stem attacks indigenous people kingdom Tellulimpoe fellowship and attacks from outside.
In 1864 the fort renovated by the Dutch Balangnipa using European architectural touches and completed in 1898. These shapes which survived until now but it still has the same structure.
The north side of the wide 49.45 m, 49.10 m west side, the south side of 30.47 m, 49.27 m east side. wall thickness of 0.50 m. The castle has a door width of 4 m main door with 2 doors on the canal where there are doors in the tunnel leading to the Citadel. On the side of the tunnel there is a place of detention.
Bastion is the corners of the fort is located in the northwest, southwest, southeast and northeast. Inside the fort there are several buildings that consists of 2 kitchens, 3 houses, 1 former building Munitions and 4 wells.
Under Bastion exactly on the lookout circular staircase there is a witness to the torture cells of the former fighters. The results of this renovation has removed the traditional building characteristics Bugis-Makassar.
One of the historical evidence in this area is the discovery of a bronze cannon that a length of 96 cm, 11 cm circular mouth, and his circle of 18 cm. The same cannon was found also in front of the home of Lamatti King.
Another historical evidence related to the kingdom in Tongke-tongke is the discovery of foreign ceramics and iron that has a characteristic derived from the type of Ming, Ching, Swato, Japan, Sawankhlok, and Europe.
Balangnipa fort has now become a historic site and museum displays historic relics and cultural development and also provide an arena for traditional cultural attractions. (*)