Indonesia’s Heritage Collection: Van Der Wijck Fort -Kebumen

One of the many Dutch heritage forts, Van Der Wijck Fort is unique because the entire building is made of red brick. You’ve seen?

This fort with an octagonal plan looks more charming with its red color, compared to Dutch forts which are generally colorless or white.

It looks like the fort from the front and inside uses red bricks, but still with the characteristics of a Dutch fort in Indonesia which has a large building structure, such as windows, doors and rooms. With an area of 3606,625 square meters, this fort consists of 4 entrances and has 2 floors that reach 10 meters high.

In addition to the fort, here there are other supporting buildings, such as garages, prisons, hospitals, soldiers’ barracks, the Dutch tomb complex and office logistics buildings. Actually, this fort was not originally a defensive building, but a VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie) trading office.

The VOC was a unified collection of Dutch companies whose sole purpose was to trade. However, in 1818 this former VOC trading office was converted into a fort and there is another version which states that construction began in 1844 and was completed in 1848. The reason for the conversion of this building was to withstand attacks and provide a narrow space for Diponegoro’s troops during the Java war that occurred in 1825-1830.

In 1856 this fort was used as a military school for Europeans and during the Japanese occupation it remained as a training ground for soldiers. During the period of Indonesia’s independence until 1980, this fort became an Army barracks and after that it was converted as a residence for the Indonesian Army until 2000.

Until now, Van Der Wijck has been used as a tourist spot or cultural heritage supported by various facilities, such as parks and play areas. The historical and unique Van Der Wijck Fort is located at Jalan Sapta Marga Gombong, Kebumen Regency, Central Java Province.


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