Verwachting, fort de

In 1623 it the people of Ternate first built a small fort on Sanana Island in the Sula archipelago, which stood under Ternate's political control. In documents dating from around 1688 and later also in the work of François Valentyn, the fort is referred to as ‘vesting ‘t Claverblad’, (the name meaning cloverleaf). In 1689 the fort was such a bad condition that it was proposed to rebuild it or even relocate it from Ipa village to Satamata. Finally in 1736 during the rule of Sultan Amir Iskandar Zulkarnain Saifuddin, the new fort was rebuilt and renamed Fort De Verwachting. This was done under the supervision of VOC officer Victor Moll, who used the services of Ternate people. Their craftsmanship can still be seen in the Ternate ornaments on the walls of the fort. The inscriptions on the gate and walls are in the Malay language. In VOC documents dating from the end of the 18th century the fort is also referred to as Fort Alting, named after Governor –General Willem Arnold Alting (1780-1797), but has been best known as Fort De Verwachting (the expectation). In 1890 the fort is described as in bad state of repair. At that time it was the dwelling place of the Salahakan, the representative of the Sultan of Ternate. In the decades that followed the fort must have been repaired, because after a visit in1921 Dutch historian Victor van de Wall describes the fort as being in a good condition. At that time several cannons were again placed on the walls, the white washed buildings inside the fort were in use and VOC period graves just outside the walls were kept. Today the buildings inside the fort have been cleared and a playground has been built here. The 4 meter high ramparts with an arched gate and two bastions with spy towers are still intact, and some cannons can still be found scattered around the location.


Sources and literature

Pusat Dokumentasi Arsitektur, Inventory and identification of forts in Indonesia (2010)

Wall, V.I. van de, De Nederlandsche oudheden in de Molukken (1928)

Clerq, S.F.A. de, Bijdragen tot de kennis der residentie Ternate (1890)