Monday, 21 January 2008

Makassar, Sulawesi Indonesia.

Makassar The Sailor City
Photo and Text by: Barry Kusuma

Makassar City was one of the most influenced city in Indonesia until this very day. Makassar has been the most dominant center of trading activity in Indoesia since the 16th century. The town grew into one of the biggest city in all South East Asia. The reason for its fast development was due to policies which announced by Makassar’s Kings where trader were free to do their activities. VOC (Holland) didn’t have the right to conduct monopoly which gives opportunity to trader in Makassar to be independent. The trading system were very well-managed, thus supports from the Islam government and the people of Makassar who has a very high tolerancy for other religion (Islam was dominant at the time). Although Islam acted as the dominant religion, others such as Chistian were welcomed to trade. Not only that, they were also well treated and protected. This was the reason why Makassar became a very important trading center for most Malayan people and trader from Arab and Europe.

Makassar also has one famous harbor known as Paotere. It was a place where traders from all around the world came to meet. This place has been known since the 16th century. The harbor showed a significant development after Makassar became an Islamic kingdom which later on will make the harbor known through-out East and Asian Continent.

Paotere was located in north of Makassar. It was history’s mark of the kingdom of Gowa. We could reach it in Ujung Tanah, 20 minutes from Makassar. As written in history, 200 armada of Phinisian boat sailing for Malaka were deployed here in the 14th century. Nowadays, Paotere are still used as a trading center as well as civillian’s boat (Phinisian and Lambo) to rest a shore. There are also various booths offering fishing equipment, seafood restaurants and fishes to eat, just around the coner.

Makassar city—previously known as Ujung Pandang—was part of Tallo and Gowa kingdom which were located in the western beach of South Borneo cape. The city started as a small town. Its the home of Bugis and Makassar tribe which were famous for their way of controlling Phinisian boat and maritime skill.

As Makassar City grew to be the center of trading in East Indonesia, VOC (Holland) became more determined to undertake the harbor city and made it one of their own. The right to monopoly will make VOC bathe in fortune. It was only a matter of time before they finally have what they’ve always wanted. In 1667, Holland, supported by a Bugis Prince, Arung Palaka, attacked and occupied Makassar. Makassar then loost their privillage as an Independent cityan became VOC’s (Holland) sub-ordinate.

After Hooland occupied Makassar, they built a fortress as a memento of peace along with spices storage and an administration center which controlled all things related to the city. This fortress were also known as Fortress of Ujung Pandang or Fort Rotterdam. It is located in Ujung Pandang. The name Fort Rotterdam was taken after the hometown of Admiral Speelman, the man who succesfully undertook Makassar. In 1673 the fort was rebuilt into a defense fortress. For 300 years, the fortress had always been Holland’s main governing facility for South of Borneo. Trade Storage were built, along with armory and soldiers’ baracks.It was after 1937 the fort was given for civil use of art and culture center. We can visit the fort which now has become one of the most interesting site for domestic as well as foreign tourists.

Photo & Text by Barry Kusuma

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