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Bengkulu town
Founded by the British, ruled by the Dutch

The colonial city of Bengkulu was founded by the British in 1685 (the called it 'Bencoolen'). 150 years later, in 1825, the Dutch took power until the Japanese invasion in 1942. Bengkulu still looks like the earlier descriptions: quiet and clean. The remembrances of Bengkulu from the colonial past can best be seen when walking. Start early in the morning, because the mid-day heat will be tremendous.

Start the trip along the west side of Jl. Jend. A. Yani, near the domed monument for Thomas Parr, the unpopular governor of Bengkulu; he was stabbed to death and decapitated in 1807, probably by Buginese people. Parr, educated in Bengalen, was used to unending loyalty of a subjected and obeying population. Once in Bengkulu he tried to lower the power of the Buginese Corps.

These were recruited to fill up the empty places in the British East India Company. After the murder on Parr, several suspect leaders were executed and several villages were burned. The relations between the British and Indonesians wasn't always that bad, and the big Indo-European population brought a British critic to call Bengkulu 'a real Batavian colony', in which he meant to say that there was to much mixture between races.

Location map of Bengkulu town

Last revised on October 24, 2009
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