Fort Vredeburg Museum (Official Indonesian name, Museum Benteng Vredeburg Yogyakarta), was a former colonial fortress located in the city of Yogyakarta. The military complex has been converted into an Independence Struggle Museum which was opened in 1992. It is located in front of Gedung Agung and Kraton Yogyakarta (Sultan’s Palace).

Fort Vredeburg Museum is a fortress which was built in 1765 by the VOC in Yogyakarta during the colonial period VOC. This historic building is located in front of the Great House (one of seven presidential palace in Indonesia) and the Sultanate of Yogyakarta Sultan Palace called Kraton. This fortress built by the VOC as a center of government and the defense of the Dutch governor at the time. The fort is surrounded by a moat that can still be seen until now. This square-shaped fort has a monitor in the four corners of the tower. In the past, and also the Dutch East India Company troops often patrol around the walls. Now, the fort became a museum. In a number of buildings in the fort there are dioramas on the history of Indonesia.

Vredeburg fortress stands is closely related to the birth of Yogyakarta Sultanate. February 13, 1755 Giyanti Agreement which berrhasil resolve disputes between Susuhunan Pakubuwono III to Prince Mangkubumi (lane I will) is the result of Dutch politics that always wants to interfere in domestic affairs of the kings of Java at that time. Name Giyanti Agreement, because the treaty was agreed in Giyanti Village, a village located near Surakarta.

Agreement that they put out for interfering VOCs always have the final goal to divide and pit the parties concerned. Similarly Giyanti agreement. Dutch man who was instrumental in the birth Giyanti Agreement is Nicolaas Harting, who was Governor of the Director of the North Coast of Java (Gouverneur en Directeur van Java’s noordkust) since March 1754.

In essence the agreement is a manifestation of the attempt to divide the kingdom of Mataram into two parts, namely Kasunanan Sultanate of Surakarta and Yogyakarta. To further Yogyakarta Sultanate ruled by Prince Mangkubumi who then hold a lane Senopati Ing Alogo Adul Gama Rachman Sayidin Panata Khalifatulah I. Being governed by Kasunanan Surakarta Pakubowono III.

The first step taken by the lane I was immediately ordered to build palace. With titahnya Emperor immediately ordered that there is open forest hamlets Beringan Pacetokan. Lane I announce that wilyah the territory was named Ngayogyakarta Adiningrat (Ngayogyakarta) with capital of Yogyakarta. The selection of this name is meant to honor the historic sites that are on Forest Beringan j = age of the late Sri Susuhunan Amangkurat Jawi (Amangkurat IV) is a lovely small town. Inside the palace there is the building that was known for Garjitowati. Then in the days of Sri Susuhunan Pakubowono II reigns Kartasura pesanggrahan name was replaced with Ngayogya. At that time used as a dismissal of the bodies of nobles who will be buried in Imogiri.

This small forest is initially resting place Sunan Pakubuwono II with Garjitowati Pesanggrahan name. To further Ayogya he replaced it with a name (or Ngayogya). Name Ngayogyakarta interpreted the word “Ayuda” and the word “Karta”. The word “a” means not and “Yuda” means war. So “Ayuda” implies there is no war or peace. While the “Karta” means secure and peaceful. So Ngayogyakarta can be interpreted as “a safe and peaceful city.” Besides as a powerful warlord lane I is also a great builder. Kraton Yogyakarta Sultanate first built on October 9, 1755. During the ongoing construction of the palace, the Sultan and the family lived in Gamping Ambarketawang Guesthouse, approximately one year. On Thursday Pahing, dated October 7, 1756 but not finished perfectly, the Sultan and the family is pleased to occupy it. Inauguration at the time the king and his family occupied the palace is marked by candra sangkala “Dwi Naga Rasa Singh.” In the same year java 1682, dated 13 Jimakir which coincides with the date of October 7, 1756.

After the palace began to be occupied and then immediately followed up also other supporting buildings. Palace surrounded by a thick wall. Inside are several buildings with different shapes and functions. Building the residence of sultans and their close relatives called Prabayeksa, completed 1756. Sitihinggil and Exhibition Building was completed in 1757. The gate connecting the ascetic and Kemagangan Fund completed in 1761 and 1762. The Great Mosque was founded in 1771. Large fortress surrounding the palace was completed in 1777. Ward Kencana completed in 1792. Thus the Yogyakarta palace stood with the development of ever happens from time to time.

See very rapid progress will kingdom founded by Sultan Hamengkubuwono I, a sense of concern to the Dutch began to emerge. So the Dutch party proposes to the Sultan for permission to build a fort near the palace. Development is the pretext for the Netherlands to maintain the security of the palace and its surroundings. However, behind the pretext that the real purpose of the Netherlands is to facilitate the control of all the developments happening in the palace. The location of the castle which is only one cannon firing distance of the palace and its location overlooking the main road to the palace to be an indication that the function can be used as a fortress castle stragi, intimidation, assault and blockade. It could be argued that the establishment of the fort was intended to keep watch at any time if the sultan looked away against the Netherlands. The amount of power that is hidden behind the political contract that is born in every treaty with the Dutch seemed to be a “force” a tough fight by any indigenous leaders in the Dutch colonial period. In this case also include lane I. Therefore, applications for permission to build a fortress Netherlands, granted. Before the castle was built at its current location (Vredeburg Castle Museum), at the request of the Netherlands in 1760, Sultan HB I have built a fort a very simple square. In the four corners made the place of custody, called seleka or bastion. The four corners of the Sultan was named Jayawisesa (northwest corner), Jayapurusa (northeast corner), Jayaprakosaningprang (southwest corner) and Jayaprayitna (southeast corner).

According to Nicolas Harting a Governor of the Director of the North Coast of Java in Semarang, the fort is the situation is still very simple. Wall of soil reinforced with supporting poles from coconut and palm tree wood. The building in it consists of bamboo and wood with a roof ilalang.Dalam further development while WH Ossenberch replace Nicolas Hartingh, in 1765 proposed to the Sultan for the fort strengthened into a more permanent building to better ensure security. The proposal is granted, then the construction of the castle is done under the supervision of a Dutch scientist named Ir building. Frans Haak. Castle construction began in 1767. According to development plans will be completed that year. But in reality the development process was running very slow and only completed in 1787. This happens because at that time who are willing to hold the Sultan of materials and manpower in the construction of the fort, was occupied with the construction of Yogyakarta Kingdom so that materials and energy are allocated more promised in the palace building. When finished building the fort that has been enhanced is given the name Rustenburg which means “Fortress resort”.

In 1867 in Yogyakarta occurred a great earthquake, so many destroyed several large buildings such as Resident Building (built in 1824), Pal Putih Monument, and Fort Rustenburg and other buildings. The buildings are soon to be rebuilt. The fort was held immediately Rustenburg improvements in some parts of the damaged building. When finished building the fort which was originally named Rustenburg changed to Vredeburg which means “Fortress of Peace”. The name is taken as a manifestation of the relationship between the Sultanate of Yogyakarta with the Dutch side that is not the time to attack each other.

From the beginning of the castle remains as built, namely a square. At the four corners of care built space called “seleka” or “bastion”. The gate faces west fort surrounded by a moat. Inside are the buildings house officers, soldiers dormitory, warehouse logistics, warehouse gunpowder, hospitals and home resident soldiers. In Vredeburg occupied about 500 soldiers, including medical officers and paramedics. Besides, in the reign of the Dutch East Indies is used as a sanctuary of the resident who was on duty in Yogyakarta. It is very possible because the resident office located opposite the location of Fort Vredeburg.


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