Standing majestically at the Western shore of Makassar, South Sulawesi. Fort Rotterdam is recognized as the city’s most iconic landmark. With historical traces dating back to the Kingdom of Gowa from the 16th century into colonization by the Dutch, the Fort Rotterdam has quietly seen many episodes in Makassar’s history, playing a most crucial role in its development.
Its magnificence and authenticity have always captivated those who put eyes on it. Initially called Benteng or Fort Jumpandang or Ujung Pandang, the vast complex was first built in 1545 in the age of ImanrigauDaengBontoKaraengLakiung or KaraengTunipalanggaUlaweng, the tenth King of Gowa. Initially, the fort was created from a mix of Stone and burnt clay and took the shape of a traditional square Portuguese architectural design.
The fort was also expanded and took on a new shape resembling a sea turtle. Thus the fort obtained a new title, BentengPannyua (Penyu) or Fort Sea turtle. The way is not just unique but also contains deep significance. For only as a sea turtle resides on land and in the sea, the attractiveness of the Gowa Kingdom additionally stretched on land as well as across the seas.
The Bugis were then a recognized and honored power all over the Indonesian, even to the Straits of Malacca. Governor General Speelman then rebuilt parts of the fort which were destroyed. Not just implementing distinct Dutch style to the structure, Speelman added another bastion at its west side. The fortress grew to be the center for stockpiling of spices along with a significant Entrepot. Eventually, this resulted in Makassar becoming the center of this Dutch Colonial authority in Eastern Indonesia.
Situated right in the heart of Makassar, it is not difficult to get to Fort Rotterdam. You can take the local Public transport or pete-pete, or taxi to get to the fort. If you are have been in Losari Beach, you can simply stroll down the boulevard and enjoy the scenery before you reach Fort Rotterdam.