My last tour (26 August 2007) to Old Banten was very excited because had ever been there before even I live not far from Banten, but feel sad because government don’t have a great attention about this nice historical sites as a tourist attraction. Therefore I like to share this story to my dear friends.
Old Banten is a first place where foreigners (Portugese and Dutch) visited my country Indonesia. My last tour, we visited first the Palace of Governor Banten, was built in year 1819 when Governor General Daendels in Banten and he especially built the very famous long distant way, Anyer to Panarukan (from West Java to East Java, around 1000 Km). This palace was built because the palace of Sultan Banten, Surosowan was destructed by Dutch , just because soldiers of Sultan Banten killed a man from Dutch, Du Puy (he asked assistance to the Sultan for providing labors for the long distant land transport/way). This palace was built with the Indies architecture.
Now we can see Old Banten is located 10 Km in the north side of Serang. The long way of Daendels are still noticed by old trees of java tamarind in the left and right side of the way to Old Banten. Before the Old Banten and the fish village Karangatu, we can see the destructed Kaibon Palace. Kaibon word come from ka-ibuan means the place of all wives of Sultan Banten, Maulana Muhammad. In year 1590 Sultan Maulana Muhammad died in Palembang and had a boy of 5 years from one of his wife and then he become the sultan of Banten and he was lived in this Kaibon Palace. This Palace was destructed by Dutch because they want to replace the concentration of government and trade to Batavia.
In 23 June 1596 Dutch was the first time visited Karangatu by using 4 ships with the name, Mauritus, Hollandia and Amsterdam, the last ship was military ship, called Duyfken (mean the dove bird). Those trade ships was owned by a company, Compagnie van Verre under management of Cornelis de Houtman. They was welcoming by Sultan Banten with a big ceremonial.
After that, come foreigners to Banten such as Arab, Turkey, Armenia, Persia, Venesia, Portugese, English, Denmark, Vietnam, Malay, Benggala, China, Armenia and also Indonesian peoples from other regions such as Makassar, Bugis, Madura and Palembang. So, Banten become the very popular and big trade city in Asia and Oceania. They trade spices,ceramic from China, pottery , silk cloth.
In the west side of Karangatu there was a fort , called the Speelwijk Fort, the name was to commemorate the Governor General Speelman who was respectfully by the Dutch government because he conquered the Banten and Makassar local authority. Inside the fort we can find a room where they put logistic (underground room). Outside the fort there are some Dutch cemmetaries/tomb.
Now near the Speelweijk Fort there is a Budha prayer place (kelenteng) and known as the oldest Kelenteng in Java, the name is Avalokitecvara. Here peoples come also for meditation and asking for life prediction/forecasting (ciamsi).
Other place which is very attractive is the Museum Pemda Banten which collected some historical stuff to show the Old Banten. In front the museum there is a canon, Ki Amuk sent from Iran in 15’s century. In front the Museum there is the Keraton Surosowan (palace of Banten Sultan). In front the Surosowan there is a Watu Gilang, a stone where officer of the palace announced news.
Near the Surosowan and Museum , there is an old Mosque Agung and inside the area there is a building , name Tiyamah with Indies style using as the Dutch office to spy / investigated all the activities of peoples in that mosque. The tower of the mosque was built by an architect from Mongolia , Tjek Ban Tjoet, therefore the tower look like a pagoda.The architect of Tiyamah is Lucaszoon Cardeel , a Dutch who become a Moslem.
When back to Jakarta we met a small lake, name Tasik Ardi with a small island in the middle and there was a preservation water used before for clean water, called Pangindelan, built by Sultan Agung Tirtayasa who expert in irrigation.
Here I will inform also from a history book of Old Banten, the popular peoples either the local or Dutch at that time. (may be you are a family from the sultan or governor of Dutch)…
Sultan / King of Banten (time of duty):
1. Syarief Hidayatullah Susuhunan Gunungjati – 1525
2. Maulana Hasanuddin Panembahan Surasowan – 1552
3. Maulana Yusuf Panembahan Pakalangan – 1570
4. Maulana Muhammad Pangeran Ratu Banten – 1580
5. Sultan Abulmafachir Mahmud – 1596
6. Sultan Abul Ma’ali Ahmad Kenari – 1640
7. Sultan Agung Tirtaya – 1651
22. The last , is Sultan Muhammad Rafi’uddin – 1813.
Residen / authority of Dutch in Banten :
J. Bruijen wi (1817), Vas Wit, J. de Puij, J.H. Pobias, P.Van de Poel, A.Aburakami de Malurda, F.H. Sinulders, Jhr. T.L. Hora Siecama, Jhr. C.F. Coldinan, D.A. Bruijn, C.a.e. Wigers, C.F. Brest van Kemper, C.P. de Lanoy, O.Van Polanen Petel, J.H. Vander Palm, B. Van Baak, F.E.P Van den Boasch, W.F Van Andel, Nr. J.P. Metman, A.J. Span, E.A. Engerbrecht, J.A. Velders, B.H.H. Reven Waay, J.A. Hederman, F.R. Svenduyn, C.W.A Van Rinsum, H.L.C.B Vienten, Byleveld, C.Caune (1920)