Kota Belanda / Dutch Fort

Kota Belanda or Dutch Fort was originally build by the Dutch in 1670 as warehouse to store tine ore mined from Perak. This fort is located in a bay in Pulau Pangkor, known as Kampung Teluk Gedung, which was at that point time a fishing village.

The reason the Dutch built this fort is closely linked with their arrival to the Malay Archipelago in early 17th century. The Dutch, who had a good relationship with Perak was successful in the trading of tin. The Dutch East India Company managed to secure the monopoly of tin trade in Perak. The Dutch had set up a plant to store tin ore in 1651 which was later destroyed by the Perak nobles who opposed the Dutch monopoly.

Therefore in 1670 an order was issued from Betawi, the Administrative Centre of the Dutch East India Company to build a warehouse made of wood to store tin ore. Hence a warehouse was erected at a strategic location in Kampung Teluk Gedung. Ten years later the walls of the warehouse we replaced with bricks.

This Dutch act of fortifying the warehouses caused the Malays to react. In 1690 the Malays under Panglima Kulup destroyed the building. This attack resulted in many Dutch killed, and the warehouse abandoned. However, not long after that the Dutch came back, repaired and occupied it.

In 1743 – 1748, the Dutch stationed 60 soldiers, including 30 Europeans in this building as guards. In 1784 the Dutch built another warehouse near Sungai Perak. As a result, the Dutch government in Betawi directed that the older warehouse in Pulau Pangkor to be abandoned. Due to neglect, the warehouse had been ruins until 1973 when the National Museum restored this building. This fort or warehouse was repaired according to the original shape and dimensions, 3 x 5 meters. Meanwhile, its brick walls are 6-7 meter high. However, the roof could not be restored because the original form was not known to the National Museum.

Near this Dutch Fort is a Batu Bersurat Belanda (Dutch Rock Inscription). This stone inscription is located on the beach, about 100 meters from the Dutch Fort. Writings on the Batu Bersurat are believed to have been engraved by the Dutch soldiers when they occupied the Dutch official, who disappeared while playing near the rock. The Dutch believed that the boy had been eaten by wild animals. As an elegy, the Dutch etched the stone with a picture of a wild animal (believed to be a tiger) catching with a boy in its claws. Other etchings may have been the engraver’s initials such as IK, R.O. etc. and there is V.O.C etched, short for Verenidge Oon Stindische Company – Dutch East India Company .

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