Sultan Ternate Mosque


Two opinions emerge in estimating the time of establishment of the Sultan Ternate Mosque. The First opinion believed that it was built in 1633 C.E. But it is strange, compared to the coming of Islam in Nusantara (Malay Archipelago), if the mosque was built in the early 17th century. The spread of Islam throughout Nusantara was mostly accompanied by building of kingdom’s mosque. Most of islamic kingdoms in java established their mosques in the area of palace. But different fact was found in Ternate. Although the first king, Kolanu Marhum (1465-1486 C.E.), had officially embraced islam, the mosque was separately built in the 17th century, one and half century after his death. In this case, the history of Ternate is different from other islamic kingdoms. Another fact, the mosque which was constructed out of the area of palace established in 1234 C.E indicates that both buildings are built in the different periods.

The mosque of Sultan Ternate is close to the palace of Sultan Ternate, at South East side of the palace, but it’s yard is not connected with the palace’s. An orange fortress built by the Dutch colonialist in 1606-1607 C.E lays behind the mosque.

The Sultan of Ternate Kedaton Museum is a center to discover the splendor of the royal legacy of the Sultanate of Ternate. Located in the Village of Sao Sio, Ternate District, North Maluku, the Sultan of Ternate Kedaton Memorial Museum displays a large collection of objects from the Sultanate of Ternate era and throughout the time of the arrival of the Europeans in Maluku since the 15th century onward. Entrance to the museum is free for all who wish to view the collection. The building was erected in 1813 by Sultan Muhammad Ali as a palace for the Sultan. Designed by a Chinese architect, it is structured in the shape of an octagon and covers an area of 1500 square meters. The building sits atop a hill of lime trees which is shaped like a lion couchant, his face towards the sea and his back to the majestic Mount Gamalama. In 1981, the management of the building was transferred to the Ministry of Education and Culture, although it is still in daily use as the residence of the Sultan. The museum was inaugurated in 1982 by then Minister of Culture, David Joesoef. This historical site is to be safeguarded from damage, conserved and utilized in accordance with the Cultural Heritage Law. Within this building lies the memory of a kingdom and the history of a government as it began to flourish, before being snatched away by colonial nations. Objects of the Ternate Kedaton Museum include a vast range of items of geology, archeology, history, technology, fine arts and more.

Although the Sultanate of Ternate collapsed in the mid- 17th century, the effects of its rule are still felt today. Ternate has contributed greatly to the culture, customs and religion of the eastern islands of the archipelago, namely Sulawesi and Maluku. It also played a major role in the Islamization of the eastern and southern parts of the Philippines. The implementation of Islamic law was first introduced by Sultan Zainal Abidin, and later became the standard followed by all the Kingdoms of Maluku. In 1575, under Sultan Baabullah, the people of Ternate successfully ousted the Portuguese colonists in the archipelago’s first victory over western powers. That victory put off colonialism in the archipelago for the next 100 years, thus strengthening the position of Islam in Eastern Indonesia.

Observe an array of relics telling the history and heritage of the Ternate Sultanate and the European Settlers. The museum exhibits many valuable relics such as the golden throne of the Ternate Sultan. Also found on display are jewelry, precious stones, and crowns of gold adorned with diamonds, emeralds and rubies. The oldest hand-written Al-Quran in Indonesia is also among the artifacts to be discovered. Among the collection of European relics, the museum also boasts a unique and sacred crown; the only one of its type in Indonesia and even the world. This is because the crown contains live and growing human hair. Every year, at Eid-ul-Adha, a ceremony is held for the cutting of the hair. The crown and hair is said to have lived for 500 years, since the ruling of the first Sultan. Ternate’s indigenous people call the crown in the local language, Stampa. In the front of the palace is a large courtyard which is used for religious processions. Objects used for these various ceremonies and processions can also be found.

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