Fort Vrederburg – The sturdy fortress stands tall in the center of Yogyakarta City. Its bright white color is increasingly striking among other buildings in the Malioboro Street area. That’s Fort Vrederburg, a fortress once controlled by three invaders.
At night, the beautiful atmosphere of the fort is also visible from outside the fence, the color of the building that contrasts with the grass in the front yard of the fort is soothing for anyone who sees it. This fort is also a sign of the Dutch colonial era in Yogyakarta.
History of Fort Vrederburg
This fort was built in 1760 by Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono after dutch Governor Nicholaas Harting who is also the director of the northern coast of Java based in Yogyakarta asked Sri Sultan to build a fortress near the palace.
Nicholaas Harting reasoned that the purpose of the construction of this fort was to help Sri Sultan maintain the security of the palace through the Dutch soldiers. In fact, as is known the Dutch invaders always have cunning intentions to control Yogyakarta.
Because in essence the demand for the construction of vrederburg fortress by the Dutch was solely done to know every activity carried out by the Yogyakarta Palace.
Not only that, the Netherlands through Governor Nicholaas Harting also intends to oversee all developments in the Yogyakarta Palace in accordance with the purpose of the Dutch arrival to Yogyakarta to control this region.
Sincerity of Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono I
Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono I also ordered his people to build a fortress for the Dutch. Sri Sultan HB I even jumped directly in the process of building the fort, he even gave the name of the four corners of Fort Vrederburg each with the name Jaya Wisesa in the west, Jaya Purusa in the East, Jaya Prakosaningprang in the southwest and Jaya Prayitna in the southeast of the fort.
Building Structure Fort Vrederburg
In the early days of the fort, the shape of the building is still very simple. The walls of the fortress that surrounds it are made of clay supported by a pillar of coconut wood and palm trees.
While the inside of the square-shaped fortress building is still simple by relying on makeshift materials such as bamboo and wood as support poles and inner walls, and the roof only uses weed grass.
In the next dutch governor, W.H Van Ossenberg, who replaced Nicholaas Harting, again submitted a request to Sri Sultan HB to make the fort building permanent with solid materials.
The process of building and designing the fort building is entrusted to dutch citizens who have the ability in terms of design and structure of the building named, Ir. Frans Haak.
The building of the fort itself was only completed in 1767 because at that time the construction process was divided between the construction of the Yogyakarta Palace and Fort Vrederburg so that it seemed molor from the specified time.
Naming Fort Vrederburg
Originally the fort was named Rustenberg which in Dutch means fortress resting place.
But in 1867 a devastating earthquake hit Yogyakarta which also impacted the building of this fortress. Almost all of the fortifications were severely damaged by the earthquake.
The process of improvement was done and took quite a long time, later the name of this fort was changed from Rustenberg to Vrederburg or which in Dutch means peace fortress.
Sri Sultan HB I hopes that with the change of the name of this fortress, the relationship between the Netherlands and the Sultanate of Yogyakarta can take place harmoniously and not attack each other.
Ownership Status of Fort Vrederburg
Although status, this fort stands on land owned by the Sultanate of Yogyakarta but the management of the fort is carried out directly by the Dutch Governor Nicholaas Harting who then switched to WH Ossenberg. It lasted from 1760 to 1788.
Then, from 1788 to 1799, this fortress building was then totally controlled by a Dutch VOC-owned trading company. Until 1811, the transfer of fortification continued to shift status until the last de facto fort was controlled by the Dutch Governor, Daendels.
Transition of Vrederburg Fortress Mastery Status
When the Dutch lost against the British, the fort was automatically controlled by the British whose control was under Governor General Raffles, and it lasted for five years from 1811 to 1816.
However, shortly the fort again switched status, after having been controlled by the Dutch again then the fort switched its power to the property of the Japanese army which was affirmed through the Kalijati Treaty in West Java, in March 1942.
Post the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence
After the proclamation of Indonesian independence in 1945, the control of the fort was fully within the grasp of the Indonesian army, although in the second dutch aggression to Yogyakarta had managed to retake the fort but was successfully recaptured by Indonesian army forces.
Vrederburg Museum Collection
After post-independence, the trenches built around the fort were converted as drainage and sewerage, because it was considered defense technology like this was too ancient.
Similarly, bridges that were originally in the form of suspension bridges that can be lifted are finally made more permanent by building concrete bridges.
Since 1992, the Vrederburg Fortress building has been completely diverted as a museum with a variety of collections including original objects derived from the famous war in Yogyakarta, General Attack (Serangan Oemoem) on March 1, 1949.
There is also a collection of photos, replicas, paintings and dioramas from the time of the Diponegoro War to the entry of Japanese invaders.
In other spaces there is also a diorama of independence events experienced by Indonesia ranging from proclamation of independence to dutch military aggression I and II, including documentation of famous agreements of the Indonesian government such as Renville.
Amenities of Vrederburg Museum
There is a facility in the form of a mini studio that serves to play documentaries about the history of Indonesia. In addition, on the inside of the museum there is a sophisticated display that can be touched so that visitors can choose every moment of the struggle of the Indonesian nation.
Museum Visiting Clock
Vrederburg Museum has a visit from 07.30 am – 16:30 pm, specifically on Monday the museum does not serve visitors.
Entrance Ticket Price
Admission to this museum is (IDR) Rp. 5.000 for adults, and (IDR) Rp. 2.000 for children, while foreign tourists, the ticket price is (IDR) Rp. 15.000 every visitor.
Location of Vrederburg Museum
Fort Vrederburg is located on Jalan Jenderal Ahmad Yani or known as Malioboro Street or in downtown Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta Province, Indonesia.