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The current Makassar
The turtle that crawls towards the sea

Makassar is the biggest city and center of communications east of Surabaya. It's not only the center of the densely populated province of South-Sulawesi, but also that of thousands of islands and hundreds of ethnical groups, which form the social structure of eastern Indonesia. People from this region come to Makassar to trade, to study, to buy provisions or just to escape the limitations of the village life.
Makassar is a typical Indonesian city, with government offices, Chinese and Indonesian shops and markets, islamic and christian locations for expression of religion, and a public life that is expressed in Bahassa Indonesia. The city is also a microcosmos of the eastern seas. In the surrounding kampungs dozens of languages are spoken, but the official census only discloses the biggest language groups in the city. At the last census people also spoke Javanese, Sundanese, Batak, Minangkabau and Banjarese. Tens of thousands were put in the last language group 'remaining languages', which concludes most of the innumerable languages in eastern Indonesia.
Chinese and Balinese temples most cearly show the cultural diversity of Makassar, but there are also churches for the communities from Ambon, the Minahasa, Toraja, Batak and the Sangihe Islands, and mosques that are visited by Javanese, Madureze or Ambonese. In kampungs close to the city live people from the islands of Selayar, Buton, Tanimbar, Kai, Alor, Bonerate and Banda. In the tourist shops on Jalan Sombaopu you will find woodcarvings from Papua and Eastern Kalimantan, masks from Tanimbar and Bali, bronze drums from Alor, ikat fabrics from Flores, wooden sticks from Central-Sulawesi, clove-shovels from Ambon, sirih-nut dishes and metalworks from the Buginese-Makassarese area, Chinese ceramics, and old Dutch, English and Spanish coins brought from everywhere in the archipelago. Who asks the sailors in Paotere where they come from, will understand that the blood from the eastern seas will be flowing through this fantastic city.

Fort Rotterdam

The massive walls of the Dutch fortress in the west of the city, formerly known as Fort Rotterdam, protect nice buildings from the 17th and 18th century. The fortress nowadays is a museum and cultural center, the so-called Benteng, where the offices of the Indonesian archeological service are.
The name 'Ujung Pandang' first emerges as one of the fortresses, which protected the heart of the Makassar kingdom. The first fortress on this location, with soil walls, was built around 1550 by king Tunipallangga from Gowa. It was rebuilt in masonry in 1634 by sultan Alauddin, to protect the northern outskirts.
In 1667 the 'Treaty of Bungaya' ordered the demolising of all but two fortresses in Makassar. The king could stay in Sombaopu, but this fortress was also destroyed two years later. The northern fortress, Jumpandang would become the Dutch headquarters. The commander, admidral Cornelis Speelman, described it as 'a strong fortress with a supply of good drinking water and on a healthy location, which also has a good enough harbor for our ships to protect them from almost any wind, so it can be really named a bastion of the precious "Eastern Districts"'.
Under Speelman the fortress was renamed into Fort Rotterdam (the place where he was born). There were also plans to change it into a heavily fortified castle, an administrative as well as defensive center. In 1673 a full reconstruction from brickwork was started. Thousand labourers worked for years just to built the exterrior walls. Stone was imported from Maros, wood from Bantaeng and Tanete, chalk from Selayar. The fortress was ready before it's biggest test in 1739, when the troops of Karaeng Bontolangkasa attacked it several times, without result.
Most buildings inside the fortress were built in the late 17th, early 18th century to house the Dutch garrison and the offices of the governor of Celebes. The Dutch traveller Stavorinus remarked in 1775 that the imposing church in the center 'was rebuilt several years ago and gives room to twohundred people. The chair of the governor is plaited with gold, and is placed under a roof across the pulpit'.


During the Napoleontic period, when the English under Raffles conquerred the Dutch possessions in the Indies, a Britisch detachment was sent to occupy the fortress. A Malay diary from that time tells, that the Dutch commander handed over the keys to commander Roy Phillips on 26 February 1812.
Within one year the Dutch returned; their power was expanded at the same time. In the middle of the 19th century the governor of Fort Rotterdam could move to a more large house (the current police station along Jl. A. Yani, east of the Grand Hotel). The fortress served as a military base until 1937, then it was handed over to the Fort Rotterdam Stichting for cultural use. At the same time it was adapted as cultural monument in the registers of the archeological service.
During the Japanese occupation in the Second World War the fortress was used as center for scientific survey on agriculture and linguistics. After the war it was stried to make it into a cultural center, but the problems in South-Sulawesi were far from over. For almost twenty yeard the settlement was used as emergency shelter; decent work was impossible and much damage was caused. The restauration started in 1970, when the entire area came available to cultural purposes again.
The original name of the fortress, Ujung Pandang, can be translated at 'the most remotely visible point' (seen from the south) or as 'Cape Pandan', to the pandanpalm which grew here, and were used to make plaits. The fortress was also known as Benteng Penyu (turtle), because it looked like a giant turtle on it's way to the sea. This animal was seen as the symbol of the Makassarese, which live on the land but earn their living at sea; above all it was this fortress that protected the inhabitants of Makassar, like the hard shield of the turtle protects it's body.

Construction of the fortress

The walls of the fortress, about two meters wide and seven meters high, form a square with bastions on each corner. A fifth bastion is placed in the wall which looks over the sea, besides the main entrance. Each of these bastions is traditionall named to a district or island in eastern Indonesia. The walls and the bastions are still in tact, except the southern wall (behind the La Galigo museum) which was broken down after the Second World War. In the same time the canal around the fortress was filled; they also broke down two bridges, one to the main entrance and one to the small entrance at the eastern side. You can best start a trip over the still excisting walls by the stone stairs in the garrison buildings (now a library) at the eastern side, then towards the north until you are at the sea side. In the bastions at the front side you can go down easily again.
'Speelmans Huis' (the house of Speelman), an impressive building directly on the right upon entrance, is the currently oldest building within the fortress; it dates from 1686. Speelman himself has already left Makassar by then; he became governor-general of the East Indies Compagny in 1681 and died in 1684. The house has been used as the governors residence for almost two centuries. The floors and the entrance are very nice.
The central chapel, in very Dutch style, dates from the 18th century. Excavations at the eastern side have brought up foundations from an earlier building on that location. The restauration of the chapel was done by Dutch financial support.
East of Speelmans Huis are the officers stays; the troops lived in the building at the eastern wall, now a library. Before the war it housed a library and offices of the Matthes Stichting, now the cultural foundation of South-and Southeast Sulawesi. A collection of ceramic objects is housed there, they are found on graveyards in South-Sulawesi. The buildings between the house and the housing of the troops date from the Japanese occupation.
Further south along the eastern wall is the council or building of the main administration of the Compagny. The porch is elegant. The level downstairs was used as prison. Nowadays you will find the offices of the archeogolical service here.
The long series of buildings on the southern side, with a very nice verandah, is a clear rememberance that trade was the main target of the Compagny. The big halls in which goods were piled, ready for shipping to Batavia and from there to Europe, now form an excellent place for exhibition of the La Galigo Museum. The exhibition concludes a maquette of the fortress, ethnographic displays, music instruments, weapons, reconstructions of archeological locations, coints and art. From the windows in the roof in the eastern wing you have a very nice view. Behind the fron wall of the floor level of the main building, the southwestern side of the fortress, is a long, low dungeon, which is sunken deep in the bastion. It's only lighted by a hole. It is said that this is the prison where the Javanese rebellious Diponegoro has been enprisoned for several years until he died in 1855.

Seaport and boulevard

The ships of the Makassarese, Buginese and Mandarese, the largest sailing populations of Indonesia, are remarkably good. The excellent craftsmanship proves that they can still make heavy ships from wood only. The many different fish-and sailboats which sail through the harbor of Makassar give an unique charm to the city. From the wide boulevard you can see a big diversity of traditional ships. Under the many different types of crafts are the prahu pinisi, the elegant schooner which has become the symbol of South-Sulawesi; the pantorani, with two square sails, which is used to catch flying fish; the lambo, a freighter with one meast; the balolang and many kinds of lepa lepa, sailing boats.
There are three prahu-harbors, only to be reached by becak or own transport. The most busy and colorfull is Peotere in the north, which can be reached through small streets. The many measts, cables and colorfull prahu is picturesque, especially at sunset or sunrise. Peotere offers a lively view when the fishermen unload their fish early in the morning and in the afternoon again. The fish, caught far out on sea with bamboo fishtraps, is brought to the city's markets every day.


Some fishing boats sail to the fish market (Palelangan Ikan) along Jl. Rajawali. Here the fish is sold, often around six of seven in the morning and around three in the afternoon. The catch varies from big swordfish, tuna, squid and shrimps to small fish, like inanga.
The biggest prahu moor in the harbor at Jl. Martadinata between the harbors of Suharto and Hatta. They transport goods to Donggala (Central-Sulawesi), Ambon, Banjarmasin, Samarinda, Surabaya and Jakarta. Some take passengers, but facilities are limited and the passengers and staff often stay on board throughout the entire journey. The best time to travel from Makassar is during the eastern monsoon, between May and Oktober.

Chinese temples

There are four temples. The most important is Tian Hou Gong or Temple of the Heavenly Queen, on the corner of Jl. Serui and Jl. Sulawesi. This was probably built in the early 18th century and restaurated in 1738, 1803 qnd 1867. The statue of the 'heavenly queen', Tian Hou is on the back side of the main althar behind a wooden wall. She is the protector of the sailors and is often related with fertility. From the side-althars, the first on the left is dedicated to the 'Golden Mothers of the Golden Immortals', the second to Xuan Tian Shang Di, which is honoured in Indonesia for it's medical powers; the third to the protectionate of Fertility. The althars in the patio are dedicated to several buddhist gods.
The Long Xian Gong or 'Temple of the Appearance of the Dragon', along Jl. Sulawesi and Jl. Bali, was built in 1868. The main althar is dedicated to Xian Mu, 'Mother of the Immortal'; the althar on the right side to Mi Lo Fo, the protectionate of jewelriesl that on the left side to Tu Di Gong, god of the soil and wealth. The Temple of the Community of Merchants of Guandong, close to Long Xian Gong, was damaged when the road was improved. It's dedicated to Guan Di, protectionate of the Guangong communities. The Chinese came here to plead oaths, before being withness in a court. On the right side of Guan Di are a horse and it's jockey, towards who mothers aim their prayers that their children will be obedient. Since 1987 the Chinese community has permission to hold lion dances on Jl. Sulawesi during Chinese new year. The fourth temple, along Jl. Lombok, is fairly new. It was built in 1953 to replace the temple along Jl. Sulawesi, which was destroyed during the Japanese occupation.

Orchid culture

C.L. Bundt started to cultivate orchids as his hobby, but he gradually built a world-famous company. His experiments with cross-fertilisation and cultivation had brought up unique flowers, which are registered at the List of Sander in London. Bundt has grown many rare spiecies, as well as normal orchids from South-Sulawesi, which can be bought at home. You can also see a big variety of seashells and coral.
To visit this orchid garden outside the city, you have to take the sharp bend to the right just before the power plant on the main road towards the north. Then you go left, right and right again on the following intersections. The garden is hidden at the end of the road, about 600 meters from the main road. It's a private garden, zo you have to ask for permission before entering the garden.

Diponegoro burial monument

Prince Diponegoro, son of sultan Hamengku Buwono III, was born in Jogyakarta in 1785. He lead the last big Javanese revolt against the Dutch in the Java War (1825-1830). By treason he was captures and transported to Makassar via Manado, where he died in 1855. Diponegoro is named a national hero. His grave, built in Javanese style, is located on a small but well-kept graveyard along Jl. Diponegoro. The family tree on the wall of the monument indicates that his descendants have stayed in Ujung Pandang.

Silk industry

Silk, made from cocoons which are grown in the neighborhood of Sopeng, is dyed and woven at Pertenunan Sutera Alam, Jl. Ontah 47. The rough fibre is boiled for 6,5 hours, which causes it to get soft and shiny. After that it's dyed in beautifull colors and dried outside.
When the fibres have dried they are wounded inside. In the other areas they are woven and mixed with many other bright colors. Sometimes they are woven into difficult patterns, in other cases they are simple and pure. In the building you will also find a shop, where you can buy silk per meter as well as in lenghts for a sarung.


    
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