Europeans first started visiting the archipelago in the Sixteenth Century. For example the famous British circumnavigator, Sir Francis Drake arrived in Ternate in the Moluccas Islands in November 1579. Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and British continued to arrive over the next century. Later, these countries demanded more than spices and began colonising the archipelago. The Dutch ruled the area for more than 300 years and, in 1942, the Japanese arrived in Indonesia and ruled for three years. Indonesia declared its independence on 17 August 1945. It is the world's fourth most populous country and the most populous Muslim-majority nation, with more than 250 million citizens.
Weh Island (also Pulau Weh or Pulo Weh) is a small active volcanic island to the northwest of Sumatra. It was originally connected to the Sumatran mainland and became separated by sea after the volcano's last eruption in the Pleistocene era. The island is situated in the Andaman Sea. The largest city on the island, Sabang, is the northernmost outpost of Indonesia. The island is known for its ecosystem; the Indonesian government has declared 60 square kilometres (23 sq mi) of inland and sea around the island as a wildlife protection area. A rare megamouth shark species was found on shore and the island is the only habitat for the threatened toad, Bufo valhallae. Coral reef areas around the island are known for their large variety of fish species. (Read more...)
Isodorus "Isidore" van Kinsbergen (1821–1905) was a Dutch-Flemishengraver who took the first archaeological and cultural photographs of Java during the Dutch East Indies period in the nineteenth century. The photographs he produced during his visit to the colony in 1851 ranged in subject from antiquities and landscapes to portraits, court-photography, model studies and nudes. His monograph was published in black and white with a coloured quire of nearly 400 photographs. His photograph of Borobudur(pictured) was the first picture of the monument, that showed the results of the first restoration circa 1873. (Read more...)