Kalamata Fortress


As an island rich in spices, Ternate and Tidore island and also the small islands surrounding, has always been a bone of contention in Western countries. They were trying to conquer these lands as one of the highest trading price at the time, for cloves and nutmeg. That said, the price of those spices were more expensive than gold.

Portuguese were the first European countries to master the island of Ternate, also the spice trade. For the sake of maintaining power and block attacks from other countries, the Portuguese were built many forts in Ternate. The island was even dubbed the The Thousand Island Fortress.

In Ternate, we can find many Portuguese forts (and also Dutch). One of the fortress as a heritage from Portuguese is Kalamata Fortress that located in the Redwoods, South Ternate. Compared with Dutch heritage castles, forts Kalamata has relatively small size. The fort has a wall thickness of 60 cm and a height of 3 m. The fort was built on the waterfront overlooking the island of Tidore which was controlled by Spain. The development of this castle was to repel attacks from Tidore Island.

Fort Kalamata has four fortifications in the four cardinal directions. In each of these fortifications there is such a hole to shoot targets. On top of this fort we can see the splendor of Mount Gamalama as well as other islands that are settled around Ternate, including the island of Tidore.

Kalamata fort was built in 1540. Its purpose is to protect the island of Ternate from being taken over by other nations that was ruled by Spain at that time. Regarding the one who built this fortress, there are two versions that been said. Some said that this fort was built by Francisco Serao. Other said that this fortress was built by Antonio Pigaveta. We have no idea which one is the right one but this fort today is becomes one of the proud destinations to be visited in Ternate, North Maluku.

Initially, this fort named Santa Lucia. But later the name was changed to Kalamata as a form of tribute to the Prince of Kalamata who was one of Ternate princes who died in Makassar.


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