Ruins of Solor fort, Lohayong, Solor Island, Indonesia. Author and Copyright Mark Schellekens and Greg Wyncoll
Ruins of Solor fort, Lohayong, Solor Island, Indonesia. Author and Copyright Mark Schellekens and Greg Wyncoll

The Portuguese Fort on Solor Island, Indonesia

Written by Mark Schellekens. Photos by Mark Schellekens and Greg Wyncoll. English text revision by Dietrich Köster.

On January 7th I paid a visit to the island of Solor off Flores’ north east coast. My main goal was to have a birdwatching trip on an virtually unknown island combined with a visit to the ruins of the fort.

Solor is easily reached from both Flores and nearby Adonara. Direct small boats go early mornings from both Larantuka on Flores and Wairwerang on Adonara to Menanga and Lemakera on Solor.

The fort is located in the village of Lohayong (about 3km west of Menanga) on the eastern part of the island. The site of the fort is sadly overgrown with vegetation and villagers have built houses on the foundations of the fort.

Gun with a Portuguese coats of arm, Lamakera, Solor Island, Indonesia. Author and Copyright Mark Schellekens and Greg Wyncoll

Gun with a Portuguese coats of arm, Lamakera, Solor Island, Indonesia. Author and Copyright Mark Schellekens and Greg Wyncoll

Several walls are still standing up and the entrance can still be found as well as 2 abandoned cannons. Foundations can easily be traced and some of the walls facing the sea are still standing up.

The soil at the site is littered with debris from the fort and pieces of glass with VOC-logo and pieces of Dutch pottery were also found.

Before visiting the fort, visitors are asked to sign the guestbook of the mayor of Lohayong and donate a small fee.

In the village of Lemakera on the eastern tip of Solor there is a collection of 13 Portuguese guns, which were left behind. Some women guard the guns and a small fee will be asked, if one wants to take pictures of the guns.

If you know or you have photos of colonial remains around the world, send it to me, I’ll be happy to publish it in the web site. Thank you. Marco. My e-mail is on the Home page.

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