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Enjoying the Beauty of Fort Martello in the Thousand Islands


Jakarta, IO – One of the favorite tourist destinations for travelers in Jakarta is the alluring Thousand Islands. From the beautiful Bidadari Island and Pramuka Island to a cluster of small islands not far from the north coast, there lie “hidden pearl”, one being Fort Martello on Kelor Island.

The fort was built during the Dutch colonial period hundreds of years ago and from a number of historical records the former Governor General of the Dutch East Indies Van der Capellen initially planned to build a shipyard on Onrust Island, along with its fortification walls, per Kompas Travel.

However, on January 21, 1849, Governor General Jan Jacob Rochussen decided to install cannons. This was realized in 1850. Fort Martello was built on Onrust Island, Bidadari Island, Kelor Island and Cipir Island. It consisted of towers similar to ones in Mortella Point, France, in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The distinctive feature of this tower fortress was its tubular in shape with thick walls made of bricks. The structure has two to three levels, and was surrounded by a moat.

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The roof was flat to accommodate the cannons. On the first floor there were kitchen, supply room, gunpowder and weapons storage, as well as a water reservoir. Initially, the fort was to be built on six islands north of Jakarta, namely Onrust, Cipir, Bidadari, Kelor, Batu Karang Mathilde and Trigosson Islands. However, construction on the Mathilde and Trigosson Rocks was discontinued. The towers were then used as storage warehouses since 1871 and the ones on Kelor Island were restored in 1908. (rr)


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