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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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.