Jakarta, IO – The Public Works and Housing Ministry (PUPR) has completed the renovation of Fort Van den Bosch – built in 1840s – in Ngawi, East Java.
The national heritage object is popularly known as Fort Pendem because it is situated below the level of the surrounding ground. Other than to preserve the cultural heritage building, the renovation also aims to increase the tourism in the regency, reported Kompas, Saturday (3/12).
During the Dutch colonial rule, Ngawi was known as the trade and shipping hub of East Java and Dutch stronghold in Madiun and the surrounding regions. It was also instrumental in disrupting the logistical movement of Prince Diponegoro’s troops.
The massive fort sits on top of 15-hectares land. The size of the structure itself is 5 hectares. Previously, Fort Pendem hosted 250 Dutch infantry soldiers and 60 cavalry soldiers. To the south of the fort are two wells with a depth of 100-200 meters believed to have been used by the Dutch to dispose of the bodies of prisoners and forced laborers.