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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Fort Orange (Laluga)

Publish 05-06-2012 14:05:00 by Admin
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A. Overview

Fort Orange (also called Laluga) is a historical relic of the Portuguese and Dutch colonial period located in North Gorontalo, Gorontalo Province, Indonesia. The district indeed stores various historical tourism potentials widely spread on the city, one of which is this fortress. The fortress is unique because it was built by the Portuguese, but was used by the Dutch.

The original name of the fort that was built by the Portuguese around the year 1526 is still unknown, but the Gorontalo community mentions the fort by the name Laluga. The fort was built to keep the Gorontalo area from ​​the pirates of Mindanao, the Philippines, especially on the north coast of Kwandang Beach.

At the first construction, the fort was built using rock, limestone, and volcanic rocks without using cement. The Portuguese previously gathered local residents to build a fortress by moving the rocks from the mountains and the beach to be brought to the top of Bukit Arang (Hill of Coal), the location of Fort Orange. Various rocks were adhered using the sap of True Sagu Palm leaf.

In the 17th-century, a power shift occurred in the archipelago. The presence of the Dutch began to press the existence of the Portuguese in Indonesia. They were forced to leave their defense in Indonesia, one of which in Laluga. That was when the Dutch began to take over Laluga and made it as one of their defenses. In 1630, Laluga that was taken over from the Portuguese was reconstructed using cement and its name was changed to Fort Orange, referred to a Dutch official named Mr. Snouck Orange who came to this fort.

Fort Orange is measuring 40 x 32.5 meters, 4 meters height, and 60 cm thick, equipped with three gatehouses overlooking the sea, which consist of one main gatehouse and two other gatehouses located on the left and right side of the main gatehouse. Inside the main gatehouse is found a spying post measuring 10 x 10 meters and 50 cm thick, which was linked with 45 steps to the top.

Visitors who want to reach the Fort Orange should pass 139 steps made of rocks brought from mountains measuring 1 x 0.5 meters. Along the steps, three checkpoints can be found on the steps number 78, 120, and the last step or the entrance to the fort. However, two of three checkpoints have disappeared, remaining only a concrete rectangle measuring 2 x 2 meters. The one that can be found is the checkpoint located at the gate of the fort.

Entering the main room of Fort Orange, visitors will pass through a checkpoint located at the right side of the fort previously served to put the cannon. This checkpoint can be reached by climbing through 13 steps. Visitors also can find two rooms overlooking the sea located at the end of the fort, which both were used as protection place and cannon storage.

The Fort Orange had experienced several times of restoration. The first restoration occurred in 1630 when the Dutch began to occupy the Fort Orange that was still known as Laluga. The second restoration occurred in 1980 by the North Sulawesi Provincial Department of Culture. The third restoration occurred when the territory of North Sulawesi Province expanded to create the Gorontalo Province on December 2, 1999. Once the region of Gorontalo became an independence province, the local government started to repair the fort gates and the road toward the fort.

B. Features

The Fort Orange was built to keep away the region of Gorontalo from ​​the pirates of Mindanao, the Philippines, especially on the north coast of Kwandang Beach. Therefore, in addition to be designed as a defense, the fort was also designed to serve as the first based to attack toward the sea.

One of the privileges of the fort is the design of the building made in multi-functional purpose. The fort was equipped with passageways connecting to each room. These passageways are pointed into a basement located right in the middle of the fort. From the basement, there are stairs leading directly to the placement of the cannon that leads to the sea, so the attack and defense efforts can be done at once.

In addition, an access to the tunnel that leads out to sea is also available on the site. This access was made with two purposes. First, the officials and soldiers at a war can be driven directly into the sea to save themselves. Second, the soldiers in the fort can also make a sudden attack against the enemy, especially the pirates of Mindanao.

C. Location

The Fort Orange is located in Bukit Arang or about 600 meters from the highway of Sulawesi. The hill is located in Dambalo, Kwandang, North Gorontalo, Gorontalo, Indonesia.

D. Access

Kwandang is located about 61 Km from the city of Gorontalo. To reach the location from the city is relatively easy, considering the road to the location can be accessed using two or four-wheeled vehicles.

E. Ticket prices

Visitors who want to enter the tourism object of Fort Orange are free of charge.

F. Facilities and Other Accommodations

The location of Fort Orange is close enough to Kwandang Beach, so visitors who have enjoyed the Fort Orange can visit to Kwandang Beach to enjoy the beauty of the beach. The best time to visit the beach is at the sunset because visitors will be spoiled with its panoramic beauty of the sunset. (Tunggul Tauladan)



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