Fort (Tafasoho)

Fort (Tafasoho)

Makian [Maquiém], Maluku, Indonesia

Military Architecture

In 1602, the Portuguese of André Furtado de Mendonça’s armada erected a fort on the island of Makian, where they left a garrison of fifty men. It lasted only a short time, the fort, still unfinished, being demolished in March the following year. It stood at Tafasoho, in the western part of the island that belonged to the Sultan of Tidore, represented there by a governor. When Henry Middleton passed through Makian in 1605, however, the Portuguese still had a small fortified trading post manned by five men and three pieces of artillery near the port, while the Sultan of Ternate controlled the rest of the island, represented by a governor resident at Mofaqiha. On 21 June 1608, Admiral Paulus van Caerden’s Dutch armada conquered “Tafso, a former fort of the king of Tidore that the Portuguese always tried to defend while they were in Tidore”, i.e. between 1576 and 1605, “and we entered with no trouble at all, as there was not one white man there to defend it, just one mestizo selling cloves, and there was no ammunition or any other arms”. Local people still remember the Portuguese origin of the ruins of several Dutch forts on Makian, one of which, the main one, was Fort Mauritius, and another at Tafasoho, certainly on the same site as the former Portuguese fortification.

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