Tag Archives: Fort Tahula

Tidore #4 – Long History of Tahula Fort


Tahula Fort is located at Sultan Syaifuddin Street, Soa Sio Village, Tidore Subdistrict, Tidore Kepulauan Town. Its location is on a fairly steep hill in the coastal area. Construction of this fortress staircase shown by the number of stairs in the area of the fort. There are 2 pieces of triangular bastion and 1 round bastion.

Fort Tahula
Fort Tahula

Based on the archives of Spain, circa 1607, one year after Spain conquered Ternate, Juan de Esquivel (the first Spanish Governor in Maluku, May 1606 – March 1609) ordered to build a fortress in Tidore, but this development was not accomplished due to lack of manpower. The construction of Fort Tahula, also known as Benteng Tohula or Kota Hula, was only started in 1610 by Cristobal de Azcqueta Menchacha (1610 – 1612), the Spanish Governor at that time.

However, this development work is also not yet complete. The construction of Fort Tahula was intensified in 1613 and completed in 1615 under the leadership of the Spanish Governor Don Jeronimo de Silva (1612 – 1617), and the fortress was named Santiago de los Caballeros de Tidore or Sanctiago Caualleros de los de la de Ysla Tidore.

The fort was inhabited by 50 Spanish soldiers equipped with artillery to protect their flagged ships. Spain used this fortress until 1662. After Spain’s departure in 1707, the Dutch – who were in power at the time – asked Sultan Tidore to destroy the fortress of Tahula. However, before the fort was completely destroyed, Sultan Tidore Hamzah Fahroedin (1650-1700) requested that this fort be preserved as the residence of the sultanate.


The location of Fort Tahula is very strategic, right on the edge of the beach and on the cliff, giving access to a wider view of the city of Tidore. We have to pass about 123 steps to reach the fort. On the right and left side of the stairs that passed, looks green plants are neatly arranged. Like the historic buildings in general, the condition of Fort Tahula is also not intact. Parts of it have been damaged and collapsed.

stairs as the entry access to Fort Tahula

the stairs number about 123 steps
the stairs number about 123 steps

Up the stairs that became the only access to the building of the fort, it was quite tiring. But the scenery gained after arriving at the top of the fort was very beautiful. From the top of the fort, there will be views of Tidore City, Kadato Kie, Tidore Sultan Mosque, Tanjung Soa Sio, Soa Sio main road and Halmahera Island in the distance. Entrance access to the fort is located right at the intersection of Soa Sio main street. In front of this fort stood firmly, a monument of Cloves.

monument of Clove, in front of Fort Tahula


I can only photograph the name of the Fort Tahula from above

this stairs to the top of the Fort Tahula

view from the top of Fort Tahula

I arrived at Fort Tahula after a visit to Kedaton Sultanate of Tidore, Kadato Kie. In the afternoon, the sun in Soa Sio is still quite hot. Slowly I climbed one by one the steps that will lead to the main building of Fort Tahula is high enough located on the hill. Arriving at the first courtyard, my eyes were treated to a pretty garden scenery, filled with colorful flowers and green trees. Continuing my way up the steps that would take me to the second court of Tahula Fortress, the trees on either side of the stairs were pretty dense and blocked the sunlight of the afternoon. In the second courtyard, I found a rung of iron which is quite steep and very narrow to reach the top of Fort Tahula. And from the top of Fort Tahula, a very beautiful landscape greeted me, view of Tidore City from above. Houses of residents interspersed with trees that are quite shady, collaborating with the blue sea is very broad. What would you say? I just want to say “This is Indonesia, my beloved country!”


view from the top of Fort Tahula


this is still the view from the top of Fort Tahula


a scenery from the top of Fort Tahula

In the vicinity of Fort Tahula are still found many coconut and banana trees. The view to the open sea was clearly plastered. From the top of the fort looks a footpath made of stone that becomes a foot path to surround the fort area. Some gazeebos are seen in several locations, provided for resting visitors. Deep in the back of the fort, Mount Kie Marijang stands dashing, as if guarding the whole island of Tidore.

views of the sea and the jetty from the Fortress of Tahula

Mount of Kie Marijang in distance

this is bentor, a traditional vehicle in Tidore I found in front of Fort Tahula

watch out!
watch out!

be safe!
be safe!

Enjoying the afternoon at the top of Fort Tahula is very pleasant. The heat of the sun is directly proportional to the wind. I imagining to enjoying the moment the sun rises from above FortressTahula, ah … I will miss that place very much.


Yes! This is Indonesia!

Tidore #3 – Kadato Kie, Tidore Sultanate Palace


Visiting Tidore, it seems less perfect without a visit to Kadato Kie, Kedaton Sultanate Tidore. Thanks to mbak Anita, finally me and my friends managed to visit and met Sultan Husain Syah, Sultan Tidore XXXVII.


a rare occasion, taking pictures with Sultan Tidore XXXVII, Sultan Hussain Syah

Kadato Kie is located about 24 km from Port Rum. It can be reached by using angkot at a cost of Rp 12,000, or motorcycle taxi at a cost of Rp 25,000 or rental car at a cost of Rp 150,000. The location is very strategic, face to face with the sea and back to Mount Kie Marijang. Its location in the middle of Tidore island provides a view of the entire territory of Tidore from West to East, and North to South. Kadato Kie is also flanked by two fortresses, namely Fort Tahula on the right, as well as the Hernando Torre Fort on the left. Kadato Kie has undergone three repairs since the last one was severely damaged by being burned by the invaders, so that nothing can be a historical proof, except for a crown that was rescued in one of the houses.


my visits and friends at Kadato Kie along with the visit of the Indonesian Architects Association of Halmahera Branch

That afternoon, my arrival and friends at Kadato Kie coincided with the Architects Association of Halmahera. Me and my friends had to wait and queue to meet and discuss casually with the Sultan. We were received by Sultan Hussain Syah in a relaxed atmosphere. The Sultan welcomed us very kindly. He shared his vision to explore and restore the long forgotten culture and tradition of Tidore to improve the lives of his people.

map of Ternate and Tidore areas during Portuguese colonization


genealogy of Tidore Sultanate

In the past, the Tidore region covered up to Irian Barat (now Papua), Ambon, Solomon and Fanuwatu. However, when Indonesia proclaimed its independence, the Solomon and Fanuwatu areas did not enter the territory of the Republic of Indonesia. Sultan Zainal Abidin Syah (Sultan Tidore at the time) then handed over the territory of Irian Barat to the Republic of Indonesia and Tidore became the capital of the province at that time. And Sultan Zainal Abidin Syah was later appointed as the first Governor of Irian Jaya.

a fragment of Sultan Tidore’s speech on the history of West Irian that was once part of the Tidore Sultanate, March 2, 1949

Sultan Hussain Syah also told about Sultan Nuku (1780 – 1805), Sultan Tidore XXX who holds Sri Paduka Maha Tuan Sultan Saidul Djehah Muhammad El Mabus Amiruddin Sjah Kaitjil Paparangan Jou Barakati. The figure of Sultan Nuku is what inflames the Tidore revolution to restore the dignity and glory of Tidore from the clutches of VOC-style political policy.

the crown of the Tidore Sultanate, was first used during the Syaifuddin Sultanate (Sultan Tidore XX – present)

Sultan Nuku also managed to unite Tidore and Ternate as the two were divided by Dutch politics. With “allied” tactics with Britain, Sultan Nuku and his troops managed to drive Dutch troops out of the Tidore region. Despite the excuse of “allying,” Britain has nothing to gain, other than ordinary trade relations. Ingenuity, courage, resilience and alertness of Sultan Nuku make Tidore able to establish good relations with the Portuguese, Spanish, English, and even Dutch.

For 25 years, Sultan Nuku befriended the war to defend Tidore’s territory. In his war strategy, Sultan Nuku diplomated with the Dutch and British, organizing strategies and tactics and plunging into battle using the Kora-Kora boat. All that was done to free the people of Tidore from the grip of the invaders. Currently Sultan Nuku has been recognized as a national hero in the Republic of Indonesia.

boat Kora-Kora, traditional boat of Tidore Sultanate

Besides Sultan Nuku, Tidore also has a regional hero (but is not yet recognized as a national hero) named Imam Abdullah Kadir Abdussalam, also known as Tuan Guru. Tuan Guru has been given the title of hero in South Africa.

A brief flashback to Tidore’s history, the Tidore Sultanate was founded in 1081 under the leadership of Muhammad Naqil (Kohlano Syahjati) (http://sejarahlengkap.com/indonesia/kerajaan/sejarah-kerajaan-tidore). Kadato Kie was built during the reign of Sultan Tidore XXVIII, Muhammad Tahir Muijuddin (1810 – 1821) in 1812. Kadato Kie’s construction took 50 years. However, it was totally destroyed at the end of the reign of Sultan Syahjuan in 1912 due to Dutch’s politics.

Based on a book written by Prime Minister of Tidore Sultanate (Jojau) M. Amin Faaroek, mentioned that before ascending the throne, Muhammad Tahir was a designer and architect. He began to design Kadato Kie’s form and then worked with local clerics. He also sent envoys to the regions to deliver the news that the Tidore Sultanate would build a Kedaton Sultanate and a sultanate mosque in the capital of Tidore Sultanate, in Soa Sio, which was better and bigger than the previous one. The imperial mosque to be built is the third mosque built after the Sultan Mosque built in 1710 and the mosque in Toloa Gamlamo.

The hard work of Sultan Muhammad Tahir paid off. In a short time there were artisans coming from areas like Raja Ampat, Maba, Patani and Weda to build a Kedaton. The construction of this kedaton was led by the chief artisan of Soa Kipu Bela Toduho, known as Tidore architect, named Lang Kie Iko Sorabi.

The construction of this 50-year-old Kedaton resulted in a building shaped like a male scorpion, in Tidore called Hai Mole. After the death of Sultan Muhammad Tahir in 1821, the construction of Kedaton was continued by Sultan Ahmadul Mansyur Sirajuddin and Sultan Ahmad Syafiuddin.

Kadato Kie, Tidore Sultanate

In 1912 there was the destruction of Kedaton by Jojau Muhammad Alting (Nau Cenge) with the princes and their families. This destruction occurred because of panic Jojau Muhammad Alting, who heard the news that there was a man named Besi who was ambitious to become Sultan Tidore, replacing Sultan Syahjuan who died in 1905. It is said that Besi has a lot of supporters, ranging from Weda, Patani and Maba. Besi’s supporters centered in Gita is reportedly waiting for the right time to attack Tidore. Jojau Muhammad Alting’s panic increased with the arrival of a Tomalou who hit Sagu in Gita, the Tomalou man said that the mass of Besi supporters is quite a lot, complete with food and weaponry.

The news made Jojau Muhammad Alting then sent some princes and Bobato customs Gimalaha and Fomanyira to Ternate to report it to Konteler Ternate. The Ternate Konteler then sends aid to Tidore, then to the Gita to dispel Besi and its supporters. At the same time, at dawn the day Jojau Muhammad Alting and his extended family had flattened Kadato Kie, having previously evacuated all of Kadato Kie’s property out.

In the past, Ternate and Tidore competed in trade. The competition led to the formation of two trade partnerships, each of whom became its leader:

  1. Uli-Lima (Five Brothers Union) led Ternate, covering Bacan, Seram, Obi, and Ambon. During the reign of Sultan Babullah, Ternate reached a golden point and had territory to the Philippines;
  2. Uli-Siwa (Persekutuan Sembilan Bersaudara) is led by Tidore, covering Halmahera, Jailolo to Papua. And the Kingdom of Tidore is also one of the Islamic Kingdom in Indonesia apart from the Palembang Sultanate founded by Ki Gedeng Suro, the Kingdom of Bima in the eastern region of Sumbawa, and Siak Sri Indrapura founded by Sultan Abdul Jalil Rahmat Syah. At the beginning of the 15th century the religion of Islam entered the Kingdom of Tidore because of the 11th Tidore King Sultan Ciriliyati or often called Sultan Djamaluddin like da’wah of Arabic pedakwah namely Sheikh Mansur, and after that the religion of Islam was made official religion of Tidore Kingdom.

Time went on and we had to say goodbye to Sultan Hussain Syah. One sentence from Sultan Hussain Syah is very imprint on my head “In Tidore there is no buskers or beggars. If there is, it can be ascertained that they are not Tidore people. We still have a sense of shame”.

fragment of a meeting decision between the VOC and the ruler of Maba, Tidore


fragment of Sultan Tidore’s notice to the Ternate Resident that Banda Island was conquered by Tidore, March 13, 1861


the flag of greatness of the Tidore Sultanate which was brought in during the war


the contract fragment between the VOC and Tidore on the Nutmeg and Cloves Tree, March 29, 1667

Before meeting Sultan Hussain Syah, my friends and I had a chance to see the room located on the floor below Kadato Kie. The large white-painted room with green dominated doors and windows served as a museum for the imperial collection. The collection kept in this room is only a small part, because most of the historical collection of the sultanate has been moved to the imperial museum which is located not far from there. The imperial collections I found were various photographs that tell the long history of Tidore. Several important historical high-value letters, as well as miniature Kora-Kora boats (traditional Tidore boats) that seem to tell how valiant the Tidore war troopers of his time.

the room contained beneath the living room of the sultanate, previously functioned as a museum


green color dominance seen on the doors and windows


reconstruction of Kedaton Sultanate of Tidore

In Kadato Kie’s living room, a pair of beautiful chairs are the throne of the empire. The very identical green color of Islam seems to dominate the room and the wall behind the throne. Flags and banners of the sultanate flank right and left the throne of the empire.

the throne of Tidore Sultanate


the banner of the Tidore Sultanate


the banner of the Tidore Sultanate

My visit to Tidore Sultanate that afternoon, and met directly with Sultan Tidore XXXVII, Sultan Hussain Syah was an unforgettable experience. This trip to Tidore is truly a special trip.

I am in front of the throne of Tidore Sultanate