The Europeans were a minority of the population inside the walled city of Batavia. Many inhabitants were slaves and there was always the possibility of an uprising against their masters. In 1653 an important delegation of Mataram visited the government of the VOC in the castle. The presence of so many Javanese inside the city walls caused a feeling of unsafety amongst the Governor General and his counsellors. Nothing happened, but the gentlemen decided to take precautions against an uprising. In the centre of the city south west of the bridge over the Kali Besar a redoubt was built. In the fort there was one sergeant, two or three corporals and 20 soldiers. The eight guns on the second floor of this small fortification, which was called “Het Middelpunt” (The Middle Point), controlled the roads and the river. The only time these guns were used, was during the Chinese Massacre in 1740, when they fired at the houses of the Chinese west of Kali Besar. The fort was demolished by Governor general Herman Willem Daendels (1808-1911). Today the location of the fort is under Kali Besar Barat south of the crossing with Jalan Kopi. There are no visible remains of redoubt Middelpunt.
Middelpunt, fort (Batavia)
Kali Besar Barat
- Haan, F. de, Oud Batavia (Batavia, 1923), 39
- Knaap, Gerrit, Grote Atlas van de Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie II, Java en Madura = Comprehensive Atlas of the United East India Company, II, Java and Madura (Asia Maior/Atlas Maior, Voorburg, 2007), 112-113,208, 255