Fort Rotterdam (Benteng Ujung Pandang as it is now called) is an Old Dutch colonial fort in Makassar, overlooking the harbor. It is one of the top attractions in Makassar.
The current fort was built by the Dutch around the year 1667 but the first defensive structures consisting of a simple dirt wall where built here a century before in 1545 by Raja Tunipalangga. The Dutch Admiral Cornelis Speelman concurred the fort in 1667 and renamed it after his birthplace, Rotterdam. Soon the fort was rebuilt with 6 meter high and 2 meters thick walls. In the inside arose Dutch houses and a church. The fort became the center of Dutch colonial power on the island of Sulawesi.
Fort Rotterdam kept it function till 1937 after which it got other functions. In the 1970s the fort was restored and renamed to Fort (Benteng) Ujung Pandang. It is one of the best preserved Dutch buildings in Indonesia.
Fort Rotterdam consists of five towers, four on each corner and one at the main entrance. Inside are thirteen buildings, eleven made by the Dutch and two were built by the Japanese. The oldest building was built in 1686 and is called the Speelman's house, after the admiral who concurred the fort although he never actually lived in the house. The house was used by Dutch governors till mid-19th century. Currently a museum is housed here. Other structures were used as sleeping quarters for officers, prison or warehouses. One of the leaders of the Java war (1825-1830), the Indonesian National Hero Prince Diponegoro, was imprisoned here for 26 years till his death in 1855.
Fort Rotterdam is open every day from 08:00 till 18:00 hour. Entrance is free although a donation is requested, Rp. 10,000 should suffice. The museum is only open Tuesday to Sunday in the morning from 8:00 till 12:30 hour, entrance is about Rp 7500.
Located right in the heart of Makassar, it is not difficult to get to Fort Rotterdam. You can take the local public transportation or pete-pete, or taxi to get to the fort. If you are happen to be in Losari Beach, you can simply stroll down the boulevard and enjoy the scenery before you reach Fort Rotterdam.
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