- The provincial capital of Ujung Pandang has in its history played an important role as the gateway to the former kingdom of Gowa and now to the whole province because of its natural harbour.
The centre of business and administration, the city has expanded outwards from its most important landmark, that of Benteng Ujung Pandang which faces the sea front. One of the eleven fortresses of the kingdom, it was built in 1545 during the reign of Tuni Pallanga, the 1 0th sultan of Gowa. When Gowa capitulated to the colonial forces under the treaty of Bungaya in 1667, the fort was renamed Rotter dam by Admiral Speelman who constructed bastions and buildings of typical Dutch architecture making it the centre of the civilian government, including a church on its premises. One of the best preserved forts of that area, only the thick walls of earth and stones remain of the original complex, now occupied by educational and cultural offices of the provincial government. The two buildings house the Ujung Pandang State Museum, exhibiting archaeological and historical objects, manuscripts, numismatics, ceramics and ethnic costumes and ornaments.
Visiting hours of the museum are from 8.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m. daily except on Mondays and public holidays. The fort itself is open daily till 17.00 p.m. Dedicated as a centre of culture, the Conservatory of Dance and Music is located here and on the open stage in the centre of the fort, dance classes for children can be seen in progress.
Though unmarked, but of historical interest is the dungeon where one of Indonesia’s most prominent heroes in the struggle for freedom, Prince Diponegoro was imprisoned for 27 years. Prince Diponegoro was buried in a family plot in the middle of the city on a street named after him: Jalan Diponegoro. The family tree displayed on the wall indicated that none of his descendants returned to the courts of Yogyakarta, instead they settled in Ujung Pandang and their custodian is a greatgrandson.
Mr. Bundt, a Dutchman, has in his private residence at No. 15 Jalan Mochtar Lutfi a collection of seashells and corals. His pacious garden is filled with rare Indonesian orchids and hybrids. A visit is worthwhile and several of the collections are on sale. Mr. Bundt is registered in the Sanders List of London as an expert in orchid cultivation.
Sunsets in the Makassar Strait can be viewed from a promenade at Jalan Penghibur or the Paotere anchorage in the north end of the city where the Pinisi schooners are berthed.
Across the harbour is Kayangan Island which can be reached in 15 minutes by ferry. A popular recreational resort for the people of the city, there is entertainment in the evening and on Sundays.