Brief History

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Vredeburg fort was built in 1760 on the order of the Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono I and the request of the Dutch government which was then led by Nicholaas Harting who served as a governor of the Director of the Java North Coast. The first goal of the fort development is to keep the security of the palace. However, the real intention of the existence of this fort is to facilitate the supervision of the Dutch against all activities conducted by the Yogyakarta palace. The construction of the fort was very simple form such as its wall that just was made from soil supported by poles made of coconut wood and palm trees, with a thatch roof. The building was built with a square shape in the four corners was built Séléka or bastion. By Sri Sultan HB IV, the four corners were named Jaya Wisesa (northwest corner), Jaya Purusa (northeast corner), Jaya Prakosaningprang (southwest corner), and Jaya Prayitna (southeast corner).

In the next period, the Dutch governor named WH Van Ossenberg proposed that the fortress was built more permanent for the purpose to make it secure. Then in 1767, the construction of the fortress started under the supervision of a Dutch architect named Ir. Frans Haak and completed in 1787. Once construction was completed, the fort was named Rustenburg” which means fortress for resting. In 1867, there was a great earthquake in Yogyakarta and resulted in many buildings collapsed, including Rustenburg. Then, immediately afterwards held Rustenburg rebuilding which was then renamed into Vredeburg” that means fortr of peace. It is a form of symbolic manifestation of peace between the Netherlands and the Sultan.

Historically, since the beginning of the construction until today, through several changes of ownership status and function of the fort as follows:

  1. In 1760-1765, at the beginning of the construction status of the land belonged to the palace, but its use under the supervision of Nicolaas Harting as the Director of the Java North Coast.
  2. In 1765-1788, formally the status of the land still belonged to the palace, but the mastery of the fort and the land was held by the Netherlands under the supervision of Governor WH Ossenberg.
  3. In 1788-1799, the status of the land still belonged to the palace, then at this time, the fort was used by VOC.
  4. In 1799-1807, the status of the land belonged to the palace, and the usage in de facto was belongs to the Dutch government under the leading of Van De Burg.
  5. In 1807-1811, formally, the status of land belonged to the palace, in de facto, the usage of the fort was under control of Dutch government by Daendels.
  6. In 1811-1816, base on the law. the land was belongs to the Palace, but in de facto, the fort was occupied and controlled by the Britain government under the control of General Raffles.
  7. In 1816-1942, the status of the land still belonged to the palace, the control was taken over back by the Dutch until they surrendered to Japan in Kalijati agreement, West Java in March 1942.
  8. In 1942-1945, the status of the land still belonged to the palace, but the usage of the fort still controlled by Japanese as the base camp for Kempetei or Japanese Police, ammunition storage, and jail for Dutch and the relatives and Indonesian politicians who rebelled the Japanese laws.
  9. In 1945-1977, the status of the land still belonged to the palace. After Indonesian Independence in 1945, the fort was taken over by Indonesian military agency. Then, in Second Military Aggression did by Dutch in 1948-1949, but in no longer time, the fort was taken over back by Indonesia after the tragedy of Public Attact in March 1st 1949 and the management of the fort was under APRI (Indonesian Army).
  10. In 1977-1992, in this period, the status of fort management was handed back to the government of Yogyakarta. in November 9th 1980, there was an agreement about the usage of this ex-fort that signed by Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX and the Ministry of Education and Culture DR. Daud Jusuf. this event was strengthen by the next Ministry of Education and Culture, Prof. Dr. Nugroho Noto Susanto in 1984 that this fort will be functioned as a museum. In 1985, Sri Sultan HB IX approved the plan of changing some part of the fort as far as the needs. In 1987, the Fort Museum opened for public. about the matter of the land status, it still belongs to the Palace.
  11. In 1992 until now, based on the certificate that released by the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture number 0475/0/1992 in 23rd November 1992, officially the name of Vredeburg Fort Museum Yogyakarta was changed into Museum of Nation Struggle Fort Vredeburg Yogyakarta. this building was located in a land area about 46,574 square meter. then in 5th September 1997, in order to maximalize the function of the museum, Fort Museum Vredeburg Yogyakarta received the mandate to manage another museum named Struggle Museum Yogyakarta in Brontokusuman Yogyakarta based on the certificate that released by Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism number KM. 48/OT. 001/MKP/2003 in 5th Desember 2003.

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