Otonaha Fortress


Otanaha Fortress is one of the tourism site in Gorontalo province, Indonesia. It was built in 1522 by King Ilato from Gorontalo Kingdom and Portuguese sailors to strengthen the area security and defense. Located in Dembe Hill, this fort was made from mixture of sand, calcium, and eggs of Maleo birds. To reach the top of this fort, there are 348 steps, which separated into four stopovers: 52 steps from base to the first stopover, 83 steps from first to second stopover, 53 second to third stopover, and 89 steps from third to fourth stopover. From the last stopover, there are another 71 steps to reach the fort. From the top of this fortress, there are panoramic view of Limboto Lake and some part of Gorontalo region.

According to history, in the 15th century, the Portuguese sailor stopped in Kota Barat, Gorontalo because the bad weather, pirate threat, and lack of foods. They offered the king of Gorontalo to build three fortress in the top of Dembe Hill to protect the area. The Ilato King had two daughters name Ndoba and Tiliaya, and one son called Naha. However, after the construction of those fortress, the Gorontalo princesses found out that Portuguese misused the kingdom’s kindness as instrument to drive away their pirates enemy. Then, the Gorontalo people turned back to dislodge Portuguese out of their kingdom. When Naha replaced his father and became the King of Gorontalo, there were a war from Hemuto, the leader of transmigrant in north region. In 1585, he accidentally found Otanaha fortress and used it as shelter of his wife, Ohihiya, and their two son Paha (Pahu) and Limonu. During the war, Naha and Paha were killed by Hemuto. Then, Limonu made a revenge and killed Hemuto. The name of three fortress used during the war was given based on Naha family. The first fort name Otanaha from Ota means fort and Naha was the person who found the fort. The second fortress was named Otahiya from word Hiya, acronym of Ohihiya (Naha’s wife). And the third fort named Uwole which means Pahu’s (Naha’s son) fortress.

Otanaha fort was built as defense fort by king ilato in 1522 ad, with initiative from portuguese captains which docked in gorontalo harbor. The fort is made from sand, limestone and maleo’s egg (maleo: a big, endemic bird of Sulawesi island, Indonesia). This fort is very strong though it’s made from maleo’s egg as the cement. There’s a story about Otanaha fort. Long ago, king Ilato had 3 children, two daughters named Ndoba, and Tiliaya, and a son named Naha. At his teenage age, Naha left his homeland to other region while his sisters stayed in the kingdom. In 1585, Naha planned to go back to Gorontalo and to marry Ohihiya. Shortly, they have 2 children, Paha and Limonu. One day, there’s a war with Hemuto, a transmigran leader, Naha and Paha died in the battle, and Limonu couldn’t accept it, and do revenge. To remember their struggle in the battle with Hemuto, then the fort was named Ulupahu, Otahiya, and Otanaha fort. In its development, it’s more popular as Otanaha fort.

Otanaha fort was built on a hill. Tourists who visit this fort have to pass some rungs and 4 stop points. The weird is, each rung in every stop point is not the same. From the beginning of the trip, the rungs is 52, from 1st stop points to the 2nd is 83, from the 2nd stop point to the 3rd is 53 rungs, and from the 3rd to the 4th stop point, there are 89 rungs. And to get into the fort, there are 71 rungs. Though the trip to reach Otanaha fort is exhausting, but it will soon disappear after you see the magnificent view around the fort. From this place, tourist can also see Limboto Lake from upper part of the fort.

Otanaha fort tour object is located on a hill of Dembe I, Barat city, Gorontalo province, Sulawesi Island. From Gorontalo city centre, Otanaha fort is located about 8 km, and tourist can take motor public transport such as pedicab /bentor, for more or less 20 minutes.

Sumber dari : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otanaha_Fortress
Sumber dari : http://en.gocelebes.com/otanaha-fort-gorontalo/

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