Fort Belgica

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Fort Belgica
Fort Belgica in the late 1990s

Fort Belgica, most impressive of the many forts built by the Dutch East India Company, is located on Bandaneira Island in the Banda Islands, Maluku Province, Indonesia.

History[edit]

Constructed in 1611, under the orders of Pieter Both, first Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, Fort Belgica was built to fortify the hill which dominated the original Dutch fortress, Fort Nassau, Banda Islands, in order to prevent others doing the same.[1]

Originally built as a standard VOC four bastioned quadrilateral fort, by the mid seventeenth century earthquakes, the tropical monsoonal climate, and poor original construction materials and techniques had resulted in the structure becoming dilapidated.[2] In 1667, Governor Cornelis Speelman instructed Engineer Adriaan de Leeuw to redesign and reconstruct the fort, the major modification works being completed by 1673. The new design consisted of a low outer pentagonal structure with five angled corner bastions and a higher inner pentagon with five tall circular towers. It was the only fort of this kind throughout the Banda Islands.

Despite over 300,000 Guilders spent on the modifications, an armament of 50 guns and a garrison of 400 men [3] Fort Belgica surrendered to a British fleet in 1796 without a shot fired. Returned to Dutch control in 1803, it was again taken by the British in 1810, when it was stormed by Captain Cole and his men.

Partially demolished in 1904, it was incompletely rebuilt in 1919,[4] and had a major refurbishment in the 1990s.

World Heritage Status[edit]

This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on in the Cultural category.[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Indonesian Banda
  2. ^ De Nederlandsche Oudheden in de Molukken
  3. ^ De Nederlandsche Oudheden in de Molukken
  4. ^ De Nederlandsche Oudheden in de Molukken
  5. ^ Belgica Fort - UNESCO World Heritage Centre

References[edit]

Hanna, Willard A.,(1991),Indonesian Banda p. 31

Van de Wall, V.I.,(1928),De Nederlandsche Oudheden in de Molukken p. 26 - 27

Van de Wall, V.I.,(1928),De Nederlandsche Oudheden in de Molukken p. 29

Van de Wall, V.I.,(1928),De Nederlandsche Oudheden in de Molukken p. 31

Belgica Fort - UNESCO World Heritage Centre Accessed 2009-02-27.

Ring, T., et al. (1994), International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania, Taylor & Francis. ISBN 1-884964-04-4

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 4°31′34″S 129°53′56″E / 4.52611°S 129.89889°E / -4.52611; 129.89889