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5 Historical Places in North Maluku You Shouldn’t Miss

by Ivonne Puspakencana
historical places in north maluku

Visiting some historical places is one interesting thing you can do while traveling. Almost every province in Indonesia has its own historical places, such as in historical places in Mataram, Lombok and historical places in Jakarta.

All the historical places are built to commemorate the history of the region or Indonesia. North Maluku, which capital city is Ternate, is one of the recommended provinces you can visit for its amazing historical places.

This province is home to numerous forts and historical buildings erected by different European empires that extended their influence to the region.

Here they are, the 5 historical places in North Maluku you shouldn’t miss.

  • Fort Kalamata
fort kalamata
Star-shaped Fort Kalamata

The first historical place you can visit in North Maluku is Fort Kalamata. Fort Kalamata was built in 1540 by the Portuguese. This fort is located in the Kayu Merah Subdistrict in South Ternate. That’s why it is also known as Kayu Merah Fort.

In 1609, the Dutch governer-general, Pieter Both. Then, it was occupied by the Spanish in 1625. The shape of this fort is like a star, as it was designed to resemble the four corners of the world with four pointed fortresses and gunshots points.

The fort is located on the beach and visible from the neighboring islands, Tidore and Maitara.

Lakes in Ternate will also give you the other places to visit in Ternate, North Maluku.

  • Ternate Sultanate and Museum
ternate sultanayte
Ternate Sultanate on Limau Hill

Ternate Sultanate is a place of the Sultan which was built by Sultan Muhammad Ali in 1813. Until now, it is still in use by the Sultanate family. The palace is located on Limau Hill in Sao Siau and spans across 1,500 square meters.

The main building of the Sultanate Palace has an octagonal shape. The shape resembles a lion sitting with its front legs facing the sea with Mount Gamalama as its background.

Besides the palace itself, there is also the Sultan of Ternate Kedaton Memorial Museum. The museum displays a large collection of objects from the era of the Sultanate of Ternate throughout the time of the arrival of the Europeans in Maluku since the 15th century.

The historical objects include the crowns, thrones, war equipment and a handwritten Qur’an. The entrance fee to this museum is free and you can enjoy all the collections inside.

  • Fort Oranje
fort oranje
Fort Oranje from top

North Maluku seems to be home for some forts. Another fort you can explore in North Maluku is Fort Oranje. Fort Oranje was built in 1607 when VOC (a Dutch East India Company) admiral, Cornelis de Jonge Matelieff was granted permission to build fortress after helping the Sultan of Ternate expel the Spanish from the island. There’s an undated Malay Sultan fortress named as Fort Malay.

In 1609, the fort was renamed to Fort Oranje after the House of Orange by the first Dutch authority in Ternate named Paul van Carden.

  • Fort Tolukko
fort tolukko
Fort Tolukko which was used to monitor the ships arrival

Fort Tolukko is located on the eastern side of Ternate Island. The fort was built in a sub district called  Sangaji, sitting on a hill overlooking the sea.

It was built by the Portuguese commander, Fernando Serrao in 1540. The location of this fort is considered strategic as it could monitor the ships arrival and deploy troops to the seas.

From the peak, you can enjoy the view of the Maluku Sea, Tidore Island and the western coast of Halmahera Island.

  • Sonyine Malige Museum
sinyige malige museum
Sonyine Malige Museum, the only museum in Tidore

Sonyine Malige Museum is the only museum located in Tidore. Visitors will be able to see many historical objects being placed as collections. These objects are the heritages from Tidore Sultanate. For your information, Tidore is one of the areas that is producing spices from ancient time.

There’s Mahkota Berambut or Hairy Crown from Tidore Sultanate. There’s a belief that the hair on the crown is always growing annually. In every Idul Adha night, there is also a ritual of cutting the hair that is held 7 days in a row.

Urban legend said that this sacred crowns can be defining the perfect prince to be the next Sultan of Tidore. Beside this crown, there are many more objects you can see, such as the sultan throne, Tempolong, Ketur (a bowl for sultan’s spit), royal cloth, weapon, armor and many more.

While you’re visiting Tidore, make sure to take a look at these things to Do in Tidore and consider to put them in your itinerary.

  • Kao Ancient Heritage

Kao is an area located in Kao Bay. This site keeps a lot of reliec from World War II. There’s also a beautiful beach to be visited during holidays here. Kao is the main entrance gate to reach North Halmahera. This area is inhabited by Kao tribe, who consists of indigenous people speaking Pagu and Modole native language.

If you come here, you can enjoy observing the 4 canons that are still stored there. The canons face the sky in order to keep the area safe from western side, where the Japan airbase was located.

Besides those historical places, there are some more other things to do in North Maluku. Review them and decide your favorite ones!

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