History of the Indonesia at Fort Vredeburg
Turning the pages of history through the diorama
30 Mar 2022 · By Ivan Zulfikar
Guerrilla resistance diorama, Fort Vredeburg /
Guerrilla resistance diorama, Fort Vredeburg / vredeburg.id

Close to the Yogyakarta palace, there is an old fort that currently functions as a museum of the Indonesian struggle.

This is the Vredeburg fort, built in 1760 on the orders of Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono I and at the request of the Dutch government. Then led by Nicholaas Harting who served as Governor Director of the North Coast of Java.

Interior of the museum, Vredeburg benteng fortress /
Interior of the museum, Vredeburg benteng fortress / alodiatour.com
Vredeburg benteng Fort Front Square /
Vredeburg benteng Fort Front Square / kumparan.com

The purpose of building the fort is to maintain the security of the palace. That's what the Dutch said, but behind it the existence of this fort was to facilitate Dutch supervision of all activities carried out by the Yogyakarta palace.

The nearly 300-year-old fort is surrounded by a moat and its four corners are bastions for lookouts or guard rooms. and equipped with important buildings, such as officers' houses, resident houses, soldiers' dormitories, weapons warehouses, logistics warehouses, to hospitals.

Since its establishment until now, Fort Vredeburg has undergone several changes in ownership status and function. Between 1760-1942, the building was used as a defense fort and the Dutch military headquarters. However, during the British colonial period (1811-1816), Fort Vredeburg was controlled by John Crawfurd on the orders of Raffles. In 1942, the fort was taken over by the Japanese army, who had invested in Indonesia.

For the next three years, Fort Vredeburg was used as a place for the Dutch and Indonesian prisoners, as well as a military headquarters and armory for the Japanese army.

After the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence, Fort Vredeburg was taken over by the Indonesian military agency and was used as a dormitory, troop headquarters, as well as a warehouse for supplies and weapons.

Turned into a museum

On August 9, 1980, the government through the Minister of Education and Culture and with the approval of Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX, established Fort Vredeburg as a center for information and cultural development of the archipelago.

Then on April 16, 1985, the fort was restored to be used as a museum. After the restoration was completed in 1987, the museum began to open to the public.

Furthermore, in 1992 the museum building was officially designated as a Special Museum for the National Struggle under the name Benteng Vredeburg Yogyakarta Museum.

One of the unique features of this museum is the dioramas depicting historical events from the colonial era to the early days of Indonesian independence.

Diorama of the seizure of Japanese army weapons by the police. Fort Vredeburg /
Diorama of the seizure of Japanese army weapons by the police. Fort Vredeburg / vredeburg.id
Map army training diorama. Fort Vredeburg /
Map army training diorama. Fort Vredeburg / vredeburg.id

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