By: M. Farid W Makkulau
MAKASSAR – Ever visited Makassar City, South Sulawesi? Makassar City is a leading city in Eastern Indonesia. It’s history can still be traced through the remaining historical heritage, proof that this area was once one of the biggest trade centers in the Middle Ages 16-17.
One of the historical relics is Fort Rotterdam. While traveling, travelers can learn a lot about the history of Makassar. Fort Rotterdam is also known as the Ujung Pandang Fortress, located on Jalan Ujung Pandang No. 1, Makassar City.
The Makassarese call this fort called “Panyyua Fort”, the former headquarters of the Royal Navy of Gowa. The name “Panyyua” or turtle is taken in the overall shape of Fort Rotterdam which can be seen from above looking like a turtle.
Given its history, Fort Rotterdam was built in 1545 by King of Gowa IX, I Manrigau Daeng Bonto Karaeng Lakiung Tumapa’risi ‘kallonna. The Kingdom of Gowa reached its golden peak during the Kingdom of Makassar – the compilation of the Kingdom of Gowa and Tallo was reunited called the Kingdom of Makassar and at its golden peak the Kingdom of Makassar had become the Center of Islamic Power – during Sultan Alauddin (King of Gowa XIV) and Sultan Malikussaid (King of Gowa XV).
At the end of Sultan Hasanuddin’s last rule, the Makassar war, the war between the Kingdom of Makassar against the Dutch and their allies, the Bugis Forces under the leadership of Arung Palakka, the Buton and Ternate Forces. The Makassar War ended in defeat on the side of Sultan Hasanuddin (King of Gowa XVI) and asked him to sign the Agreement on Bungaya in 1667.
One of the articles in the Bungayya Agreement is the result of the Kingdom of Makassar which was handed over by Ujung Pandang Fortress to the Netherlands. Since then, the Netherlands has passed Ujung Pandang Fortress, which later turned into Fort Rotterdam. Most of the buildings in the castle area are Architecture of Dutch.
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The entrance to Fort Rotterdam is a fort about 3 meters high. Visitors, students and travelers are allowed to fill the guest book before entering the fort. Entering the interior of Fort Rotterdam, visitors are welcomed by a beautiful green garden in the middle of the fort. The park is surrounded by 2-storey old buildings, while a wall about 3 meters high looks around the Fort Rotterdam area.
In the fort area which used to be the center of the Dutch East Indies government in Makassar, most of the buildings in Fort Rotterdam were converted into the Museum of Makassar Bugis Culture and building art. Some are specifically called the La Galigo Museum.
Inside the museum, which is relatively quiet, there is a collection of historical objects from prehistoric times that display fossils of ancient rocks and weapons of the South Sulawasi community, to the development of culture in modern times.
These historical objects are displayed in large glass boxes and storefronts, including axes, arrowheads, jewelry, sculptures and much more.
In This La Galigo Museum, also displays the life of the ancestors of the people of South Sulawesi as accomplished sailors. A miniature Phinisi ship displayed in one corner of the museum depicts the people of South Sulawesi since long ago famous for its maritime spirit.
In general, the buildings in the Fort Rotterdam area are intact and maintained. Even in the middle of the fort, there is a building in front of it which is usually used for art performances. Many community of students and students who use the location spot in the Benteng area as a place of activity, including seminars and cultural exhibitions.
The location of Fort Rotterdam is only about 1 Km from Losari Beach. From Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport, it will only take around 35 minutes to drive a car or motorbike, while from Soekarno Hatta Port it will only take around 10 minutes.
Outside the fort stands the Sultan Hasanuddin Statue and the words “Fort Rotterdam”. No doubt, for students and travelers who want to explore the history of South Sulawesi, they can visit Fort Rotterdam as a refresher for historical reflection, especially in important historical times, the “Makassar War” and the pride of past Makassar greatness. (*)