Historical Tourism Sites in Ternate

Indonesia consists of 34 provinces and is considered the largest island country in the world, with more than 17 thousand islands. In this South East Asian country, you will discover the amazing beauty of nature and a lot of historical sites ready to be explored. One that is become commonly talked about is Ternate, the largest city in the province of North Maluku. This is the island where Portuguese land for the first time in Indonesia and build their forts and other historical sites that still stand to this day.

1. Fort Oranje

Fort Oranje was the central government of Dutch East India Company before moved to Batavia (now Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia). This fortress was built in 1607 by an admiral of VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie). Ternate Sultanate allows the fortress to be built only after the Spanish were successfully expelled from the island with the help of the Dutch admiral. The name was taken after the House of Orange in Dutch.

When VOC starts to grow its power, Maluku becomes its central authority in 1613 and Ambon become the official residence of the VOC governor. In 2015-2016, a huge restoration was held to use the Fort Oranje once again. Today, it is used as the Office of Culture and Tourism Department of Ternate City.

In this area, you are not only presented with beautiful architecture and nature, but you can also learn a lot about the history of the colonial era on this island. Additionally, various interesting events are often held here, such as the Fort Oranje Cultural Jazz Festival in February 2019.

2. Fort Tolukko

Another fortress you can visit in this island is the Fort Tolukko. From the top of this fort, you can see the whole city with the blue sea and mountains at the background. Not only you can see the city but standing on top of this fort will also help you view the Maluku Sea, Tidore Island, as well as the western coast of Halmahera.

This fort was built by a Portuguese commander, Fernando Serrao, in 1540. It is located on top of the hill overlooking the city and seas. Because of the landscape where this fort was built, Fort Toluko is considered as a strategic location to monitor the sea. Any arrival of ships will easily be spotted from this fort.

3. Fort Kalamata

It might not be exaggerating to call Ternate as an island of thousand fortresses. That is because you can find a lot of fortress on this island. Another amazing fortress you need to visit is the Kalamata. It is located approximately 750 meters from Bastiong Port. It is a star-shaped fort that was built on the Coast of Maluku Island.

The fort was formerly known as Red Wood Fort and was built in 1540 by the Portuguese authority. It was built as an effort to dominate other European power as well as monopolize the clove trade. In 1610, the Dutch governor-general, Pieter Both rebuilt the fort when the Dutch came into power in this Island. It was previously heavily damaged due to abrasion by the sea water. However, it has been restored by the local government and now has become a famous photographing spot.

4. Fort Kastela

Unlike other fortresses that had been restored and now standing still, you can only see the remains of Fort Kastela. Today, it is a ruined fortress and famous as the first colonial fort built in North Maluku. The fort was built in 1522 and was completed in 1523, on the south-west coast of Ternate.

In the past, this fort was described as incomplete, and only after Antonio Calvao governs the fort, the defenses were significantly improved. However, 1575 the Portuguese handed over the fort to Sultan Baab (Sultan Babullah) after the Sultan besieged them in their fort for five years. The Sultan then renamed the fort as Gammalamma and used it has his royal palace.

The Sultan then modified the fort and improved its defenses. The additional fort was even constructed on 5km to the east of Kastela; it is called the Fort Kota Janji. However, the fort was recaptured again by the Spanish, and the Sultan was exiled to Manila.

5. The Sultan of Ternate Kedaton Museum

Last but not least is the Palace of the Ternate Sultanate. The palace was built in 1813 by Sultan Muhammad Ali and is still used by the family of the Sultanate to this day. It is located on Limau Hill and covers 1,500 square meters of area. If you want to visit this palace, however, you need to ask the local people because you can only visit this palace at certain times and days. Also, there are rules you need to follow when you are inside the palace.

Today, this palace also functions as a museum that keeps various historical items of Ternate Sultanate. It also houses many European items from the past, such as a crown, thrones, war equipment, and many more.

Not only offering an exotic beauty of the sea, beach, and mountain, Ternate also offers historical sites to explore. If you are craving for a historical adventure, then this is the right place to go.