Indonesia (December 2018): Ternate

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The island of Ternate consists of three very distinct parts:

- Kota Ternate, a noisy chaotic city (pop. over 200,000) that spreads along the southeast coast of the island,

- The interior of the island, the Gamalama cone, most of which is covered by dense forest,

- The narrow coastal area along the quiet road circling the island.

This page contains photos taken in Kota Ternate and of coastal sights. For photos of my ascent of Gamalama click here.

 

Left: Sunrise seen from the night plane from Jakarta to Ternate, soon before reaching Ternate. Right: Arrival at the Ternate airport with Gamalama visible in the upper right corner of the photo.

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Gamalama dominates the landscape all around Ternate. The photo below was taken from Benteng (Fort) Tolukko in the northern part of Kota Ternate.

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Center of Kota Ternate seen from an overlooking slope of Gamalama. The large mosque with two minarets near the center of the photo is the Raya Al Munawar mosque.

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View of the southern part of the city, with Tidore in the background.

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Northern part of Kota Ternate seen from Benteng Tolukko, again with Tidore in the background.

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Benteng Tolukko, a Portuguese fort built in the early 16th century, located in the northern part of present day Kota Ternate.

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Benteng Oranje, in central Kota Ternate, a 17th-century fort built by the Dutch soon after they drove the Spaniards out of Ternate. Some parts are over-restored, others are poorly maintained and littered with rubbish. For a while in the 17th century, the fort served as headquarter of the Dutch East India Company (also known as VOC, after its Dutch name). Part of the fort is currently used by an army garrison and police families.

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Moat and park on the east side of Benteng Oranje.

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Benteng Kalamata, a star-shaped fort first built in 1540 by the Portuguese, then rebuilt in 1610 by the Dutch. It is located in the southern part of Kota Ternate.

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Kraton (Palace) of the Sultan of Ternate, with Gamalama visible in the background.

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Most mosques in Ternate have a multi-layered square pyramidal shape with corrugated tin roofs, as shown below.

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The most famous of these mosques is the Sultan′s Mosque (Masjid Sultan). The mosque′s exterior is not particularly interesting, but its interior is remarkable for its impressive and elegant timber work.

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The Raya Al Munawar mosque, the largest mosque in Ternate, built between 2003 and 2010 next to the sea. Modern, huge (it can accommodate 15,000 worshipers), but beautiful?

 

Just north of the Raya Al Munawar mosque lies a large market area. The area is busy all day long.

 

Fruit and vegetable stalls.

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Fresh fish market.

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Dried fish market.

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A wedding in Kota Ternate. Like in many other places around the world, food is a major element of the event.

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A few sights along the road circling the island (in counterclockwise order):

 

- The small Hiri island (another volcano) seen from Batu Angus. Batu Angus is a place on the northeast coast of Ternate covered by dried lava brought by the 1673 eruption of Gamalama.

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- Another view of Hiri, here seen from Sulamadaha, the place where public boats make the crossing between Ternate and Hiri.

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- The cove at Sulamadaha that serves as a small port for the boats making the crossing.

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- View of the north slope of Gamalama seen from the road soon after leaving Sulamadaha.

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Danau (lake) Tolire, a crater lake located in northwest Ternate at the foot of Gamalama. The lake, which covers an area of 5 hectares with a depth of up to 50 meters, is surrounded by dense forest and bordered by vertical cliffs. Its gloomy greenish water is said to host a large population of crocodiles and fishes.

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- Benteng Kastela, located on the southwest coast of Ternate. Built by the Portuguese in 1522 it was the earliest colonial fort constructed in the Maluku islands. Today only some ruins remain.

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- A four-sided monument on the site of Benteng Kastela relates the events that led to the departure of the Portuguese: after killing Ternate′s Sultan Hairun in 1570, the Portuguese were besieged in the fort by forces of the new Sultan Baad for five years and eventually left Ternate (to Ambon) in 1575.

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- View over Danau Laguna, with Maitara and Tidore across the straight in the background.

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