THE RESTLESS FORTRESS IN DJOEJOCARTA 1767: FROM RUSTENBURG TO VREDEBURG

ONMISSION

Aftermath of great earthquake in Yogyakarta, I  observed the FortVredeburg in June 2nd – 3rd 2006. It was well-built, there was no significance earthquake effect in to this fortress. Based on the old map of Sketch of the Fortified Cratten Sultan of Djoejo Carta, taken by assault 20th June 1812 by The British Forces, I take a walk…

Here the report.

The Primary Gate of Fort Vredeburg

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Before far away from the recent fortress, The Dutch
requested to Sultan Hamengku Buwono I regarding plan to built a small square
fortress in 1760. When Governor General W.H. Ossenberch replaced Nicolas
Hartingh
in 1765, he requested to make a progress and improvement permanently
toward this fortress for the reason of security.

The improvement was started from 1767 to 1787 managed by Ir.
Frans Haak. It spent of 20 years because Sultan was finishing the Cratten of
Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat. The permanent fortress was titled Rustenburg that
means Fortress of Resting.

The earthquake perished Yogyakarta in 1867. The Rustenburg was partly collapsed by this catastrophe. After nextadvance improvement, the Rustenburg replaced by Vredeburg that means Fortress of Peace (thanks to Olivier from Holland that gave some improvements in my journal) .

According Major William Thorn, a soldier of Royal British
Army that conquest of Djoejocarta in 1812, the fort is about eight hundred
yards from the nearest face of the Crattan, calculated for any other use than
as a depot for military forces.

THE CHRONICLES

Stage 1760 – 1765

In the beginning of building plan in 1760, the fortress was
a property of Kasultanan. However the Sultan granted it to VOC managed by
Nicolas Harting the governor and director of North Coast of Java.

Stage 1765 – 1788

Governor W.H. van Ossenberg requested Sultan to improve the
fortress permanently for defense purposes. The restoration was started in 1767,
from a small fortress to a defense fortress.

Stage 1788 – 1799

The purposes were benefited by VOC. After VOC was dissolved
in 1799, the authority was handled by Bataafsche
Republic (the Dutch) in de facto.

Stage 1799 – 1807

In the period of Governor General Van Den Burg, the fortress
was still for military defense head quarter.

Stage 1807 – 1811

Administered of this fortress was countered by Koninklijk
Holland under Governor General Herman Williem Daendels, but the land was
remained as property of Kasultanan.

Stage 1811 – 1816

The next subsequent operation of the British Royal Army
Forces after principal attack in Batavia
was hostilities with the Sultan of Mataram. On the evening of 17th June 1812, the Lieutenant
Governor and Commander of the Forces arrived in Djoejocarta. Immediately on
their arrival, the Sultan sent out strong bodies of horse to intercept the line
of British Army by burning and destroying the bridges. The Assault 20th June 1812 in Djoejo Carta was
commanded by Major General Gillespie. The next Governor General was Thomas
Stamford Raffles.

Stage 1816 – 1942

The Dutch grasped this fort back from British occupation
since 1816 until by the time of Second World War.

Stage 1942 – 1945

The Japanese occupied this city in 6 March 1942. Then they took over all buildings
former the Dutch. The Vredeburg to be a part of military head quarter of
Japanese Army, another part was in Kotabaru. Kempetai, the bravest column of
Japanese Army was centered inside the fortress. Also, Dutch prisoners of war
were captured in this fortress. The Japanese occupation in Indonesia
finished in 1945.

Stage 1945 – 1948

The fortress was occupied by military equipment and barracks
of Indonesian military.

Stage 1948 – 1949

Second Clashed of Dutch Military in 19 December 1948, the
Vredeburg was targeted of aerial bombardiers of Dutch Air Force. The offices of
Tentara Keamanan Rakyat were perished inside the fortress. Colonel Van Langen
succeeded to occupy Yogyakarta, as well Vredeburg. This fortress was used by
headquarter ofInformatie Voor Geheimen
(Dutch Intelligence Bureau), military barracks & equipment, and army
vehicles.

The broad-spectrum assault of Serangan Umum 1 March 1949
attempted the Vredeburg as the main target. It brought the agreement of Roem –
Royen 7 May 1949, and then the agreement of conference between Dutch and the
Republik in 27 December 1949. However, the Dutch left Yogyakarta officially in
29 June 1949.

Stage 1949 – 1987

The next episode of this fortress was purposed as military
headquarter such as political prisoner of communism party suspected, the
education and training of police department, and Garnizun and Indonesian Green
Barrett Headquarter.

Stage 1987 – Today
Since1987, Vredeburg was officially opened for public museum.

The Rear Gate of Fort Vredeburg

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