The Maluku Islands are an archipelago in Indonesia, and part of the larger Maritime Southeast Asia region. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone. Geographically they are located east of Sulawesi, west of New Guinea, and north of Timor. The islands were also historically known as the Spice Islands by the Chinese and Europeans, but this term has also been applied to other islands.
Ternate is a city, an island and town in the Maluku Islands (Moluccas) of eastern Indonesia, located off the west coast of the larger island of Halmahera, the center of the powerful former Sultanate of Ternate. Like its neighbouring island, Tidore, Ternate is a visually dramatic cone-shaped island. The islands are ancient Islamic sultanates with a long history of bitter rivalry.
The islands were the world's single major producer of cloves, upon which their sultans became among the wealthiest and most powerful sultans in the Indonesian region. In the precolonial era, Ternate was the dominant political and economic power over most of the "Spice Islands" of Maluku. Today, Ternate is the largest town in the province of North Maluku, within which the island constitutes a municipality.
Ternate (Indonesian: Pulau Ternate) is dominated by the volcanic Mount Gamalama (1715 m). The volcano erupts regularly, covering the island with volcanic dust. Major past eruptions of Gamalama include 1673, when a large, but undetermined number of people were killed, and 1772, when about twenty inhabitants died. The largest recent eruption of Gamalama was in September 1980, when 30,000 of the islands 56,000 residents were forced to temporarily flee to nearby Tidore.
Greater Ternate City (Indonesian: Kota Ternate) spreads 10 kilometres from the airport to Bastiong port. The commercial centre stretches 2 kilometres from the bus terminal near Fort Oranye to Ahmad Yani Port where Pelni ships arrive. The current Sultan's Palace, built in 1796, is now partly a museum. The large Fort Oranye, built by the Dutch in 1607 on top of an undated Malay version, was the home of the Dutch East Indies Company until it moved to Batavia (Jakarta) around 1619.