Fort Vredeburg Museum (Official Indonesian name, Museum Benteng Vredeburg Yogyakarta), was a former colonial fortress located in the city of Yogyakarta. The military complex has been converted into an Independence Struggle Museum which was opened in 1992. It is located in front of Gedung Agung and Kraton Yogyakarta (Sultan’s Palace).
In 1760, after the foundation of the new Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, the Dutch governor of North Java coast Nicolaas Harting requested a fort to be built in Yogyakarta. The barracks was built on a plot provided by Sultan Hamengkubuwono I, the first fort was a simple wooden fort with four bastion. Later in 1767 the fortress was extended and converted into a more permanent structure under supervision of a Dutch architect Frans Haak. After its completion in 1787 the fort was named Fort Rustenburg (“Resting fort” in Dutch).
On 1867 the old fort was destroyed by an earthquake. The fort was rebuilt and renamed Fort Vredeburg, which in Dutch language means “Peace fort” due to peaceful co-existence of the fort and the Kraton of the Sultan.
Later in 1942, during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia, The fortress was took over by the Japanese army and made into the army’s headquarters and war prison. After the Japanese left in 1945, Fort Vredeburg served the Indonesian Army as military command post, barracks and prison for suspected members of the communist party.
In 1947 the ceremonies on honoring Budi Utomo’s 40th founding anniversary were held in the fort. At the occasion, Ki Hadjar Dewantara expressed the idea of converting the fortress into a cultural institution. To realize this, a newly set up foundation took charge the gradual restoration of the former fort.
An agreement was concluded to have a cultural institution in the fort, between Daoed Joesoef, the Minister of Education and Culture and Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX in 1980. As a result, major renovation of the building took place in 1982. In 1984, Nugroho Notosusanto, the new Minister changed the original plan and instead have a museum intended for showcase of Indonesia’s struggle for independence. The museum was officially opened on 23 November 1992.
Yogyakarta was devastated by an event that damaged large number of buildings and cultural properties in the region, including the fort. It was repaired later afterwards.
source : wikipedia.org
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