Dutch Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka. Author and Copyright Dietrich Köster
Dutch Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka. Author and Copyright Dietrich Köster

Asia. Dutch Colonial Remains 16th-18th centuries

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster.

If you know something on colonial remains or if you have photos of such remains – they may be anywhere in the world -, send them to me. I’ll be happy to publish them on this website. Thank you. Marco. My e-mail is on the home page.

BANGLA DESH

Rajshahi: Dutch factory, called the Barakuthi, with towers on each side.

For this info my thanks to Arnold van Wulfften Palthe from The Netherlands 

INDIA

Bharuch: Dutch Cemetery.

Surat: Dutch Cemetery. Daulatabad fort (13km from Aurangabad): A Dutch cannon. With this inscription: VOC-E 1638; Verhard vs Splinter me fedit….. VOC-A Assver vs Koster me fecit Amstelredam…..

For this info my thanks to Robbert-Jan Meijer from The Netherlands

Vengurla: Fortified factory with bastions.

Cannanore: Fort Santo Ângelo (Portuguese, renewed by the Dutch).

Cochin: Mattancherry Palace (renewed by the Dutch), Bolghatty Palace (1744), Dutch houses, Dutch Cemetery with Dutch tombstones, Chennamangalam Palace, Kalikotta Palace in Trippunithura (1790s), warehouses, ruins of the Fort.

Kollam (Quilon): Ruins of Thangasseri Fort, Dutch cemetery (“Bringing to your notice regarding the destruction/neglect of the rare remains of the Dutch cemetery at Thangasseri, historic town in Kollam, Kerala, India…..feels bad to the state of ruins.” “nothing can be seen, I remember a guillotine and a series of tombs years back, when I was a child, later when I visited slums they were all over and the tomb stones were used for washing clothes, it was painful to see, yesterday I went there I saw small huts all over and construction of an apartment house near the archaeological site…. cannot understand how they got the permission to do this….can the Dutch government do something for this?” Info by: Manoj Kumar Kini).

Udayagiri fort: the grave of the Dutch General de Lennoy, lies within the fort, which was built in the 18th century by King Marthanda Varma.

Kanniyakumari: Dutch fort.

Sadras (Sadurangapattinam): Dutch Fort and inside is a little cemetery of VOC-soldiers and officers.

For this info my thanks to Guido Vanden Berghe from Belgium

Porto Novo: Ollander Thottam or Dutch Garden (Dutch Graveyard).

Pulicat: a few ruins of the sea walls of Fort Geldria (1610), Dutch Cemetery.

Masulipatam: Dutch Armoury (18th century) a fort and a big Dutch cemetery. What is even more interesting are the names of some of the colonies of the town still named after old settlements of the respective companies. Thus we have Olandu peta* (Holland Peta), Parasu peta* ( Portuguese Peta), English Palem *(English colony) and French peta* (French colony). All these must have been the actual settlements of the companies, where most of the factors resided when on the Coromandel Coast. *Peta and Palem roughly mean colonies.

For this info my thanks to Srinivasa Reddy from India.

Bheemunipatnam (24 Km northeast of Vishakapatnam): remains of a Dutch settlement with a ruined fort, armoury and Dutch cemetery.

Chinsura (Chuchura near Calcutta): Dutch Cemetery, Director’s residence, Dutch church, fort.

INDONESIA

Eurasian Community, Dutch surnames, Religion.

Hila (Ambon Island): Fort Amsterdam, Dutch Church of Hila (1780) (this church was destroyed in the Muslim-Christian clashes in Januari 1999. But now (2009) the old church is being rebuilt).

Kota Ambon (Ambon Island): remains of Fort Victoria (the gate on the sea side and a few of its walls are still intact).

Middelburg Paso (Ambon Island): Blokhuis (Waterkastelen) (One wall remaining).

Hitoe-lama – Hitulama (Ambon Island): Fort Leiden: Located in Hitu, on the foundation of this fort a house has been built.

Larike (Ambon Island): Fort Rotterdam: This fort has been demolished to build a village on the location. A part of one bastion is left. There seems to have been a church, too, but this one has been burnt down in the 1999 – 2004 riots.

Seram: Luhu at Hoamoal, there is a fort there too, it looks Dutch but I also think it is a local fort.

Siri Sore: Fort Hollandia (ruins??)

Noesa Ela: Fort Vlissingen (On Nusa Ela there are the ruins of fort Vlissingen, maybe quite intact as it is a small triangle, but overgrown).

Seith (Said): Foundations and stones, which belonged to a fort, no name.

Serikambello: The ruins of fort Hardenberg can be found (foundations and there is an old cannon on the beach.

Manipa: There are the remains of fort Wantrouw. Some parts, like the gate, still to be seen together with one tower.

Luhu: There are the ruins of fort Overburg with some of the walls still there.

Kaibobo: There are still a few remains of fort Den Bosch to be seen.

Kajelie (Buru Island): Fort Defensie (fort)

Kaiteloe: Fort van Verre: There is nothing left but gardens.

Negeri Lima: Blokhuis Van der Cappellen (1816)

Kisar: Ruins of Fort Delfshaven, ruins of a church and near the beach are also ruins of a Fort called “Vollenhoven” on the beach foundations, are also to be seen, in front of this fort, maybe the office of the shybandar (??) only a few crumbling walls are remaining of the fort.

Bandaneira (Neira Island, Banda Islands): ruins of Fort Nassau (only three walls and a gateway remain, and an old cannon lies on the ground), Fort Belgica is magnificently restored (1611), VOC Governor’s House, Dutch colonial houses (many were destroyed during the Muslim-Christian clashes in April 1999), Dutch Cemetery, ruins of Dutch Hospital.

Ay (Ay Island, Banda Islands): Old Church (burnt down during the Muslim-Christian clashes in April 1999) and Revenge Fortress.

Banda Besar (Lonthor Island, Banda Islands): Fort Hollandia (1621). Fort Concordia: it has still two cannons. Fort Kuilenburg (in Selamon): Ruins.

Lontar: A staircase renewed in 1754. There is a stone which says: DESE TRAP IS VERNIEUWT IN DEN JAARE A° 1754 ONDERT GEBIET VAN DEN WELEDELEN AGTB=HEER REY NICUS SIERSMA GOUVERNEUR EN DIRECTEUR DE SER PROVINTIE.

Sanana: Fort De Verwachting, in use as a cultural center.

Saparua – Saparoea (Lease Islands): Fort Duurstede (1676) it’s well-restored.

Pulau Nusa Laut – Sila Leynitoe (at the southern tip of Saparua-island, Lease islands): ruins of Fort Beverwijk and a Dutch church.

Haruku – Haroekoe (Lease Islands): Fort Nieuw Zeelandia (ruins). Kerkje (this church was burned down in a riot).

Pelauw (Haroekoe)(Lease Islands): Fort Nieuw Hoorn (ruins).

Matjan (Moluccas): Fort Taffasoho ruins ?. Ruins of Fort Mauritius (walls).

Desa Mateketen (western part of the island): remains of a Dutch fort and two cannons.

Motir (Moluccas): Fort Nassau ruins ?.

Batjan (Moluccas): Fort Barneveld (17th century) restored.

Ternate (Moluccas): Fort Oranje (1637) in process of restauration (inside there is an old grave with a Dutch inscription), Fort Toloko or Terloko or Tolucco, Fort Kayuh Merah (Kalamata), ruins of a Fort, Dutch tombstones.

Halmahera: Dodinga: ruins of the Dutch fort, there seem to be at least 2 more ruins in the mountains. In front of the masjid an old cannon, ready to be sold as scrap iron.

Sidangoli: ruins of the old Portuguese/Dutch fort.

Jakarta (Java): Eurasian community, Old Batavia Town (Kota), VOC Warehouses, City Hall of Batavia (1627-1710), Sunda Kelapa (old Batavia port), Gereja Sion or Gereja Portugis (Portuguese Church) (1695), Governor General Reinier de Klerk country-house (today National Archives building) (1760). Pulau Obi, Loji: ruins of Fort Den Briel.

Makassar (Sulawesi): Fort Rotterdam (1667).

Kwandang (Sulawesi): ruins of Fort Ota Mas Udangan (Dutch or Portuguese?), ruins of fort Oranje (Dutch or Portuguese?).

Gorontalo / Dembe hill (Sulawesi): ruins of fort Otanaha: remains of three towers (Dutch or Portuguese?).

Kupang (Timor): Dutch Graveyard.

Solor: ruins of the Portuguese/Dutch fort. The cannons in fort Henrique (Henricus, Frederik Hendrik) have dissapeared.

Palembang (Sumatra): Kuto Besak, a local fort, part of the Kraton of the Sultan of Palembang. It was finished under Sultan Mahmud Bahauddin in 1797. Not Dutch but local.

Bukittinggi (Sumatra): ruins of Fort de Kock (1821).

Yogyakarta (Java): Fort Vredenburg.

Solo-Surakarta (Java): Fort Vastenburg.

Sumenep (Madura Island): VOC Fort

Semarang (Java): ruins of Dutch fort, VOC warehouses, Gereja Blenduk Church (1753).

Banten (Java): Fort Speelwijk (1682).

Pekalongan (Java): VOC fort has been turned into a prison, two bastions and walls are remaining.

PALAU SERIBU. A chain of islands to the north of Jakarta’s coast:

Palau Kelor (Palau Seribu islands): ruins of a Dutch fort.

Palau Onrust (Palau Seribu Islands): ruins of a Dutch Shipyard (17th century), Dutch Cemetery (17th century).]

For many of these info my thanks to Donald F.M. Rugebregt and Londoh.

JAPAN

Hirado: Small island, where a thriving Eurasian community was until the expulsion of the foreigners in the 17th century. There isn’t much left but a low wall, well, stone wharf and archaeological site of the former Dutch factory; a few monuments and a couple of small museums to the Dutch and Portuguese (and briefly to the English), residence.

For these info my thanks to Glenn Sundeen.

Nagasaki: Deshima island.

MACAO-MACAU

On the Protestant Cemetery and on the Roman Catholic cemetery are graves of VOC factors.

For these info my thanks to Magiel Venema. 

MALAYSIA

Dutch surnames in the Eurasian community in Malacca.

Malacca: Christ Church (1753), Dutch Government Palace or Stadthuys (1650) (built in 1650 as the official residence of Dutch Governors and their officers, the edifice is a fine example of Dutch architecture. Preserved in its original structure and form , it now houses the Historic Museum and Ethnography Museum), St. John’s Fort, Dutch Tombstones; the old Tax-Office (boomkantoor, havengelden) at 20, Jonker Street (with the date ‘1673’ on the upper facade); the old Dutch Shipyard (scheepstimmerwerf) at 40/42/44, First Cross Street (with large timber doors and beautiful granite steps leading to the Malacca river); there are also some other former Dutch residences in Heeren Street (eg. No. 101) & Tranquerah Street (No. 44; 220; 290) area. St. Peter’s Church, erected by the Portuguese community (1710), this church has similarities with the contemporary Portuguese architecture in Goa. It is a Portuguese building of the Dutch period in Malacca.

Kuala Linggi: ruins of Kuala Linggi’s Fort or Philippine Fort (1757). Excavations in the area began in 1935 and a cannon, pots and pans made from bronze and 6 pieces of Dutch East India Company coins were found.

Teluk Gedung (Pangkor is., Perak): Dutch Fort or Kota Belanda. This building was originally built as a warehouse. As it received constant attack from Dutch enemies, the building was transformed into a fort to protect against attacks. In the local Malay language means warehouse and Teluk means bay. Next to this Dutch Fort there is a Dutch stone inscription.

Kuala Selangor: remains of a fort, which was originally built by local Malays. It was later captured by the Dutch and rebuilt. The Dutch rename it as Fort Altingsburg. Today most of the remaining stone wall and cannons are from the Dutch era. Today the fort is know as Kota Melawati. Kota mean fort. Melawati is the name of the hill where the fort is located.

For these info my thanks to Gerard Fernandis, Lee HaanRan, Fernando Jorge and Lim Huck Chin. 

SRI LANKA

Eurasian community (Dutch Burghers), Dutch surnames, Dutch waterways, Religion.

Galle: Historical Fortified Town, Dutch Houses, Dutch Church or Groote Kerk (1752-1754), Bell Tower (1701), Government House (1687), Dutch Fort (1663), Dutch Period Museum (Leyn Baan street 31-39), several names of streets in Galle are Dutch.

Unawatuna (near Galle): Country house of a Dutch governor (de Jong ?): “Nooit Gedacht” (1735) in the vicinity there were also two watchtowers, but sadly they have crumbled to rubble in recent years.

Kalutara: few remains of the Fort ?.

Negombo: remains of the Fort, Dutch Cemetery, Dutch Waterways, Dutch houses. The Dutch fort of Negombo is practically a reduction of the much greater Portuguese fort that existed in the same area. Today only the main gate and a (much younger) Clock Tower remain.

For this info my thanks to Kiros Kokkas.

Colombo: Wolvendaal Church (1749) (Wolfendhal street), Dutch Period Museum House (Prince street, 95), Dutch Belfry, Dutch Governors Building (the buildig was converted to a church in 1804, St. Peter’s church), Kerkhof or Dutch Cemetery (Front street).

Matara: remains of the Fort, Dutch houses, Dutch Church (1680s), Redoubt van Eck or Star Fort (1763-1765).

Tangalla: Dutch house now a Rest House (1774)

Batticaloa: Dutch Fort.

Trincomale: Fort Frederick (1658), Fort Oostenburg, two-storeyd Dutch building in the village of Nilawali on the Trincomalee-Kuchchveli Road, the roof of this building had crumbled.

*Chundikuli (Jaffna Peninsula): Dutch Church.

*Pyl (Jaffna Peninsula): ruins of the Fort.

*Beschutter (Jaffna Peninsula): ruins of the Fort.

*Elephant (Jaffna Peninsula): Fort.

Jaffna: The small Dutch church (Groote Kerk or Krys Kerk (1706)) in the centre the fort was destroyed during the civil war. The fort itself is left intact (occupied by military, off limits).

For this info my thanks to Kiros Kokkas.

*Pooneryn: Fort.

*Kayts: Hammenheil Fort.

*Delft: ruins of a Dutch country house, Dutch Fort.

Mannar: A Portuguese-Dutch Fort with four bulwarks (occupied by military, off limits).

For this info my thanks to Kiros Kokkas.

Kalpitya (50 kms from Puttalam, West Sri Lanka, on the peninsula opposite to it): a Portuguese church in very good condition near the market with a few Dutch and English tombstones on its floor. Adjacent is a small European cemetery. Nearby lies a square-sized fort (1667) in excellent condition, overlooking the seashore (occupied by the military and therefore off limits). It was used by the Dutch, but is possibly of Portuguese origin.

For this info my thanks to Kiros Kokkas.

* The civil war between Singhalese and Tamil, seems that has destroyed many of the up quoted monuments.

TAIWAN

Tainan: a section of the wall of Fort Zeelandia (Anping Fort); a small portion of the walls of Fort Provintia (Chih Kan Lou, Sakkam).

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