Travel Information of South Sulawesi
South Sulawesi in brief
Map of South Sulawesi

Ujung Pandang is the capital of South Sulawesi. Sulawesi once known as Celebes is a wondeful island which its total land area is 22700 square kilometres, a little smaller than England and Scotland combined.

The shape of the island is like an orchid with long and narrow peninsulas. No point of the mainland is more than 90 kms away from the sea. This makes the island has a long coast line. Most of the land are monteneous in nature. The combination of the two effects wonderful sceneries both in its shores and the highland.

Sulawesi strait is known as the border of Wallace's line, that separates two distinct sets of wildlife, in eastern and west Indonesia. The flora and fauna of this island are specific, such ebony wood, babi rusa and colorful maleo birds with their gigantic eggs.

Some 30,000 years ago this island have been inhabited by human beings. The oldest dated archaelogical deposits are found in caves in limestone hills near Maros, about 30 kms to the northeast of Ujung Pandang the capital of South Sulawesi province. The probable older deposits, peeble tools and flakes, have been collected from river terraces in the Wallanae Valley between Soppeng and Sengkang. including the bones of extinct giant pigs and elephants.

During the heyday of spice trades, in 15th until 18th centuries South Sulawesi served as the gate to the Moluccas islands which were the land of spices. The mighty Makassar and Bone Kingdoms played important roles in the history of eastern archipelago during that time .

People in the South Sulawesi consists four major ethnic groups. The ethnic Toraja is well known for its specific culture, funeral ceremonies and curved roof traditional houses and beautiful natural colored carvings. Makassur, Bugis and Mandar ethnic groups are known as heroic seafarers in war and peace with their traditional sailing vessels that sailing the ocean from the archipelogo to the north of Australia, the islands in the Pacific Ocean until the west coast of Africa.

The geographical, prehistoric and historical back grounds of the South Sulawesi creates interesting cultures of the people in this area. One can watch and enjoy experiences which is unique and can only be found in this area, including the ceremonies, dances, carvings, beautiful fabrics made of cotton and silk, and fantastic tropical natural sceneries.

PLACES OF INTEREST

UJUNG PANDANG
Benteng Ujung Pandang {Fort Rotterdam) - Benteng Ujung Pandung is a historical remain of a former mighty kingdom in Sulawesi. Sulawesi's most powerful and prosperous kingdom in 17th century was Gowa, which capital was nearby Ujung Pandang, formerly known as Makasssr. Makassar at the time, viewed from the sea as a fortified city. The kingdom hud 17 fortresses to protect its capital and surrounding areas. In 1667 when the might Gowa was defeated by the Dutch all the fortresses were destroyed but Benteng Somba Opu and Benteng Ujung Pandang. The first, then, two years later was totally destroyed again by the Dutch

Benteng Ujung Pandang was initially built in 1545 by the tenth King of Gowa, I Manriogau Daeng Bonto Karaeng Lakiung also known as Karaeng Tunipalangga Ulaweng. The basic shape of the fortress was quadrangular of Portuguese architecture and made of clay of the same model of 16th and 17th century of European fortresses. The benteng, with additional protrusion on the basic shape, looks like a turtle. Some sources say that the shape as turtle symbolizing the kingdom of Gowa as a seafaring kingdom and the fortress as a protect or the of the capital.

During the occupation of the Dutch, the fortress was rebuilt and renamed as Fort Rotterdam. At the time the fort became the center of government and trade. During the occupation of Japan the fort functioned as the center of agricultural and language studies.

Today the buildings in the fort contains the Historical and Archaeological Institute. Conservatory of Dance and Music, Art Development Services and the State Museum. The Museum displays the province's history, manuscripts, statues, ceramics, traditional customs and other cultural msterials of all ethnic groups in South Sulawesi .


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