Mariecque, fort

In the western part of Tidore, the small native village of Marieko lay on a steep hill on 400 meter from the sea. In 1609 the Spanish fortified the village by building a stone enclosure-wall. They added two bastions with two canons. The fort, which was called Marieco Del Grande, was defended by 14 Spanish soldiers and some Papangers (native soldiers from the Philippines). The fort could only be reached by climbing the 60 degrees steep hill.

Between November 1609 and January 1610 soldiers of the VOC under command of Simon Jansz Hoen unsuccessfully tried to capture the fort on the hill. On February 8 a second attack under command of Governor-General Pieter Both had more success and the fort was taken. The Dutch built a new fort Marieco which was rectangular with four bastions. The names of the bastions were Utrecht, Enkhuizen, Amersfoort and Reaal. A garrison of two companies occupied the fort. In 1616 Willem van Anssing was in charge of the fort. Relatively little is known about its subsequent history. It seems quite likely that the fort fell into decay after the Spanish were forced to leave Tidore. In June 1621 Jan Pietersz Coen ordered the demolition of the fort.

In late 1621 or early 1622 the Spanish reoccupied the fort and started with the rebuilding. The fort was occupied until the final departure of the Spanish from the Moluccas to Manilla in May 1663.

The fort fell into decay. Today the only remains of fort Mareku are parts of the walls on the site of a banana and crop plantation.


Sources and literature

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

Brommer, B., Grote Atlas van de Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie III, Indische Archipel en Oceanië = Comprehensive Atlas of the United East India Company, III, Malay Archipelago and Oceania (2008)

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