Remains of Ende fort, Ende Island, Indonesia. Author and Copyright Mark Schellekens and Greg Wyncoll
Remains of Ende fort, Ende Island, Indonesia. Author and Copyright Mark Schellekens and Greg Wyncoll

Portuguese Fort in Ende Island, Indonesia

Written by Marco Ramerini.

In 1595, the Dominican friars led by Brother Simone Pacheco built a little Fort on the island of Ende Minor (Palau Ende) to protect local Christians from Islamic attacks. This small fort was named by the Portuguese as Fortaleza de Ende. Pero Carvalhais was its first captain. Within the walls of the fort was built the church of São Domingos. Other churches were built in the two neighboring villages of Currolalas (Church of Santa Catarina de Siena) and Charaboro (Church of Santa Maria Madalena).

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

The ruins of the Portuguese fort on Ende island (Ende Minor) are nothing more then a collection of coral rocks. Just a single wall remains standing up and for the rest there are some floor parts and foundations visible.

The site is used nowadays by local farmers to farm Tapioca and corn and little remains as most of the stones from the fort have been used to build houses in the village of Kemo (pronounced as “K’mo”).

This village is easily reached from mainland Flores, from the town of Ende from where 4-5 boats daily sail to Kemo, where the ruins are located.


– Jacobs, Hubert “Documenta Malucensia”, Vol. II 1577-1605. XXXII-65*-794 pp. (vol. 119), Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, 1980, Rome, Italy.

– Leitão, Humberto, “Os Portugueses em Solor e Timor de 1515 a 1702”, 302 pp., Tipografia Liga dos Combatentes da Grande Guerra, 1948, Lisbon, Portugal. An old work, but one of the few about this subject; interesting.

– Matos, A. T. de, “Timor Português 1515-1796: contribuição para a sua história”, 489 pp., map, Instituto Histórico Infante Dom Henrique, 1974, Lisbon, Portugal. The main book on early Timor history.

– Sá, Artur Basílio de, “Documentação para a história das missões do Padroado Português do Oriente: Insulíndia” Vol. VI (1595-1599) xxi+432 pp., IICT Centro de Estudos de História e Cartografia Antiga, 1988, Lisbon.

– Villiers, J., “As derradeiras do mundo: The Dominican Mission and the Sandalwood trade in the Lesser Sunda Islands in the sixteenth and seventeenth century”, in: Various Authors, “II Seminário Internacional de História Indo–Portuguesa”, pp. 572-600, IICT & CEHCA, 1985, Lisbon, Portugal.

About Marco Ramerini

I am passionate about history, especially the history of geographical explorations and colonialism.