Visiting Fort Rotterdam and the I La Galigo Museum

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Tourism of Indonesia

Ready to Go to Fort Rotterdam and the I La Galigo Museum

Planning to go on a tour or travelling, we definitely want a smooth trip, comfortable accommodation, cheap hotels, good food, cheap plane tickets, close to everywhere, and can rent a motorbike or car.


In Fort Rotterdam and the I La Galigo Museum, there is natural beauty and unique culture of the local community. There are many uniqueness, starting from the village (desa), sub-district (kecamatan), district (kabupaten) and provincial levels.

In Indonesia, each province has different and interesting characteristics. Each province has a different and unique culture and lifestyle.

Fort Rotterdam is a 17th-century fort in Makassar on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. It is a Dutch fort built on top of an existing fort of the Gowa Kingdom.

The first fort on the site was constructed by the a local sultan in around 1634, to counter Dutch encroachments.

The site was ceded to the Dutch under the Treaty of Bongaya, and they completely rebuilt it between 1673 and 1679. It had six bastions and was surrounded by a seven meter high rampart and a two meter deep moat.

The fort was the Dutch regional military and governmental headquarters until the 1930s. It was extensively restored in the 1970s and is now a cultural and educational centre, a venue for music and dance events, and a tourist destination.

Standing majestically at the western coast of Makassar, Fort Rotterdam is recognized as the city’s most iconic landmark.

With historical traces dating back to the Kingom of Gowa from the 16thth century to colonization by the Dutch, this Fort has silently witnessed many episodes in Makassar’s history, playing a most essential role in its development.

The government is taking good care of the preservation of nature and maintaining the condition of the forest.

The environment is also well maintained.


Visiting Fort Rotterdam and the I La Galigo Museum, we will witness routine community activities in unique traditional cultures. And there are special dishes and food as part of culinary tours that are delicious and yummy.

Its magnificence and authenticity has always captivated those who set eyes on it. A journalist from New York Times, Barbara Crossette even described it as “the best preserved Dutch Fort in Asia”.

Originally called Benteng or Fort Jumpandang or Ujung Pandang, the huge complex was first built in 1545 in the era of Imanrigau Daeng Bonto Karaeng Lakiung or Karaeng Tunipalangga Ulaweng, the tenth King of Gowa.

Initially, the fort was made from a mixture of Stone and burnt clay, and took the shape of a typical square Portuguese architectural style.

During the reign of Sultan Alauddin, the 14th king of Gowa, the fort’s construction material was replaced with black Karst, rocks from the mountain sides of the district of Maros.

The fort was also expanded and took on a new shape resembling a sea turtle, thus the fort gained a new name, namely: Benteng Pannyua (Penyu) or Fort Sea turtle.

The shape is not only unique, but also contains deep meaning.  For just as a sea turtle lives both on land and at sea, the glory of the Gowa Kingdom also stretched on land as well as over the seas.

Indeed, the Bugis were then a recognized and respected power all across the Indonesian seas even to the Straits of Malacca

Between 1655 to 1669, Dutch forces attacked the Gowa Sultanate, which at the time was under the rule of Sultan Hasanuddin.

The city’s strategic location made it an ideal place to fully control the spice trade passage, and to become the starting point that would eventually open up the route to the seas of Banda and Maluku, the original Spice Islands.

Led by Dutch Governor General Admiral Cornelis Janszoon Speelman, Dutch forces launched a massive attack on Makassar for a full year.

At this time, major parts of the Fort were devastated as the Dutch began to occupy the land. As a result of the defeat, the Sultan of Gowa was forced to sign the Bongaya treaty that gave the Dutch authorities full control over Makassar’s trade.

Governor General Speelman subsequently rebuilt parts of the fort that were destroyed.  Not only applying Dutch distinct style to the structure, but Speelman added another bastion at its west side.

The fort was later renamed after Speelman’s hometown: Rotterdam. The fort grew to be the center for stockpiling of spices and an important Entrepot.

Eventually this led to Makassar becoming the center of the Dutch Colonial government in Eastern Indonesia.

In 1938 Dutch authorities established the first ever Museum in South Sulawesi, namely the Celebes Museum, located within the complex of Fort Rotterdam.

Initially the museum occupied building no. 2 only, which was once the residence of Admiral Speelman. Its collection came from various excavations that included ceramics, currencies, gold and jewelries, and others.

By the time of the Japanese occupied Makassar during World War II, the Celebes Museum already occupied three buildings of the complex.

To its collection were added wooden tools, several types of ships, farming equipment, house ware, musical instruments, weaponry, and many others.

After the War, the museum was officially re-established in 1970, bearing the name by which it is known today, namely: Museum La Galigo.

La Galigo was the Pajung Lolo or Prince of the Luwu Kingdom in the 14th century who was also the son of Sawerigading Opunna Ware, a legendary Bugis hero.

The name also refers to the famous I La Galigo, the world’s longest epic poem. Exhibiting various collections from the early Celebes Museum as well as other additions including the collection of the kingdom of Sawito, Wajo, Mandar, Luwu, Bone and others, the present Museum  occupies building no.2 and no.10 within the Fort Rotterdam complex.

In this place there are also regular events or activities held every year, both national and international.


The journey to Fort Rotterdam and the I La Galigo Museum is now very easy. We can enter through various modes of transportation.

Access to go to Fort Rotterdam and the I La Galigo Museum:

Located right in the heart of Makassar, it is not difficult to get to Fort Rotterdam. You can take the local public transportation or pete-pete, or taxi to get to the fort. If you are happen to be in Losari Beach, you can simply stroll down the boulevard and enjoy the scenery before you reach Fort Rotterdam.

The condition of the infrastructure is getting better. Starting from highways, airports, trails, ports, bridges, stairs, even some places can be reached by toll roads.

We can visit by plane, car, ship, bus, motorcycle and bicycle. At some point, we can take the train. We can also walk freely.


In Fort Rotterdam and the I La Galigo Museum, as technology getting better. We can easily find locations for mini markets, shops (warung kedai), ATMs, Bank BRI BCA BNI Mandiri, BTPN Bank Nagari BJB, supermarkets, and restaurants. So we will not starve or lack the necessary items.

Suggestion before visiting Fort Rotterdam and the I La Galigo Museum:

  • The Museum opens daily from Sunday to Monday from 08.00 to 15.00 local time.
  • Admission fee is IDR 3.000.
  • Please consult the officer in charge if you wish to take pictures of some of the museum collection, since some are delicate and rare.
  • Please do not touch the collection of the museum for some of them are delicate and fragile.

If you are sick and need help, you can also visit clinics, drugstore pharmacies (apotek), practice doctors, hospitals, and health centers (puskesmas).

In this place we can also look for places of worship such as mosques, churches, and others.


Finding place to stay in Fort Rotterdam and the I La Galigo Museum is very easy. We can stay at homestays, hotels, inns, hostels and other places.

To get lodging at a cheap and definitely comfortable price, please see below:

Experience and Reviews

There are already many visitors have visited Fort Rotterdam and the I La Galigo Museum, there are many interesting stories that are told. Like feeling satisfied, happy, wanting to come again, sleep well, and almost no one is disappointed or complains to come here.

So, visitors will find out on how to find the best hotels, where is exactly located, why it is amazing, how much is the fare and rate, who are the people, whom to ask, and when is the best time to visit.

We can visit these tourist attractions from Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Redep, Tanjung Selor, Tapak Tuan, Tarakan, Tarutung, Tasikmalaya, Muara Bungo, Muara Enim, Muara Teweh, Muaro Sijunjung, Muntilan, Nabire, Negara, Nganjuk,

That’s all the information we provided, hopefully useful.

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