The Sultan of Ternate Kedaton Museum is a center to discover the splendor of the royal legacy of the Sultanate of Ternate. Located in the Village of Sao Sio, Ternate District, North Maluku, the Sultan of Ternate Kedaton Memorial Museum displays a large collection of objects from the Sultanate of Ternate era and throughout the time of the arrival of the Europeans in Maluku since the 15th century onward. Entrance to the museum is free for all who wish to view the collection.
The building was erected in 1813 by Sultan Muhammad Ali as a palace for the Sultan. Designed by a Chinese architect, it is structured in the shape of an octagon and covers an area of 1500 square meters. The building sits atop a hill of lime trees which is shaped like a lion couchant, his face towards the sea and his back to the majestic Mount Gamalama.
In 1981, the management of the building was transferred to the Ministry of Education and Culture, although it is still in daily use as the residence of the Sultan. The museum was inaugurated in 1982 by then Minister of Culture, David Joesoef. This historical site is to be safeguarded from damage, conserved and utilized in accordance with the Cultural Heritage Law.
Within this building lies the memory of a kingdom and the history of a government as it began to flourish, before being snatched away by colonial nations. Objects of the Ternate Kedaton Museum include a vast range of items of geology, archeology, history, technology, fine arts and more.
Although the Sultanate of Ternate collapsed in the mid- 17th century, the effects of its rule are still felt today. Ternate has contributed greatly to the culture, customs and religion of the eastern islands of the archipelago, namely Sulawesi and Maluku. It also played a major role in the Islamization of the eastern and southern parts of the Philippines.
The implementation of Islamic law was first introduced by Sultan Zainal Abidin, and later became the standard followed by all the Kingdoms of Maluku. In 1575, under Sultan Baabullah, the people of Ternate successfully ousted the Portuguese colonists in the archipelago’s first victory over western powers. That victory put off colonialism in the archipelago for the next 100 years, thus strengthening the position of Islam in Eastern Indonesia.
Get into the feel of the area with the typical Ternate food called papeda. The dish is made from cassava flour soaked in hot water and is one of the staple foods of the Maluku people. Papeda is typically served with fish and gravy.
Walnuts are also considered to be a typical snack of the area as Maluku is a top producer in these large hard-shelled nuts.
Lalampa is a tasty snack made of fish and spices tucked into a roll of rice which is wrapped in banana leaves then barbecued. This dish also sometimes substitutes fish for crab.
Another standard dish to try is yellow rice, seasoned and dyed with natural coloring from turmeric. This rice is usually served with fried fish, noodles, pickles, fried potatoes and a spicy sauce.
The typical Ternate souvenirs can be found in the Gamalama Market on Jalan Bousorie. A unique selection of varied forms of stainless steel jewelry are on display for visitors to take home. Rings are generally sold for between 20 to 30 thousand rupiah. Aside from jewelry, traditional snacks of walnuts and walnut cookies and cakes can also be purchased here.
The Bela International Hotel is one of the newest hotels in the Maluku islands. Hotel facilities include a swimming pool, fitness center, wedding chapel, meeting rooms and ballroom, while room facilities include hot water, mini bar, satellite television and 24 hour room service. Several other smaller hotels and homestays can be found throughout the area.
Observe an array of relics telling the history and heritage of the Ternate Sultanate and the European Settlers. The museum exhibits many valuable relics such as the golden throne of the Ternate Sultan. Also found on display are jewelry, precious stones, and crowns of gold adorned with diamonds, emeralds and rubies. The oldest hand-written Al-Quran in Indonesia is also among the artifacts to be discovered.
Among the collection of European relics, the museum also boasts a unique and sacred crown; the only one of its type in Indonesia and even the world. This is because the crown contains live and growing human hair. Every year, at Eid-ul-Adha, a ceremony is held for the cutting of the hair. The crown and hair is said to have lived for 500 years, since the ruling of the first Sultan. Ternate’s indigenous people call the crown in the local language, Stampa.
In the front of the palace is a large courtyard which is used for religious processions. Objects used for these various ceremonies and processions can also be found.
After visiting the Ternate Memorial Museum, there is a list of other historical monuments to be seen in North Maluku.
The Ternate Sultan Mosque is located in the northern part of Ternate, approximately 100 meters from the museum. Its construction began in 1606 during the reign of Sultan Saidi Barakati Musafar and was completed in 1648 by his successor, Sultan Hamzah. The building is made from stone with mortar made from Kalumpang bark. The mosque is rectangular with a pyramid roof which consists of several overlapping layers. Each of the layers consists of 360 engraved trellises, one for each day of the year.
Kotanaka Fort is built on top of a hill, slightly north of the Kedaton Sultan Ternate. The fort was built by the Dutch government in the 18th century and was named after a nearby spring. Kotanaka fort is located strategically in the city center as a way for the Dutch to monitor the movements of the Sultan. Nowadays the fort is not maintained, and is overgrown with grass and shrubbery.
Oranye Fort is much more intact and parts are currently occupied by the army as well as the National Police Force. Oranye was built in 1607 by Matclief Cornelis de Jongeatop a previous structure that was built by the Portuguese and inhabited by the Malays. It was named in 1609 by Francois Witlentt Path after the Dutch House of Orange. This fortress was once the headquarters for the VOC, the Dutch East Indies Company, where the Dutch established their monopoly on the Maluku Cloves. Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II, Sultan of Palembang, was exiled to this fort in 1822 until his death 30 years later. His tomb is located west of the Kalumpang Village in Ternate.
Kalamata Fort is located about 3 kilometers south of the Ternate city center and is easily accessible by road. The fort is also called the Fort of Santa Lucia or the Red Wood Fort. It was built by the Portuguese in 1540 and later restored by Pieter Both during the Ducth era in 1609. The fort was later abandoned by Geen Huigen Schapen and reoccupied by the Spanish. This fort has gone through many repairs and has been almost completely refurbished. Its new look, however, gives it a less authentic appearance as a monument of history.
Other fortresses include the Tolukko Fortress, about 3 km north of the Ternate city center. The Dever Lacting Fortress near the harbor and the Bernaveld Fortress, in the Labuha village.
Antique bunkers and cannons from the time of the Japanese occupation during World War II can also be found in the Village of Kusu.
The best route is through the Baabullah Airport in Ternate. This domestic airport serves Jakarta, Bali, Makassar, Manado, Surabaya and several other smaller cities. The museum and city center are located just 3.5 kilometers from the airport.
The museums opening hours are:
Tuesday-Sunday: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Mondays and Public Holidays: Closed
Sultan of Ternate Kedaton Memorial Museum
Sao Sio urban village, sub-district of North Ternate,
District of Ternate, North Maluku province.