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Solor is a volcanic island located off the eastern tip of Flores island in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, in the Solor Archipelago. The island supports a small population that has been whaling for hundreds of years. They speak the languages of Adonara and Lamaholot. There are at least five volcanos on this island which measures only 40 km (25 mi) by 6 km (3.7 mi). The island’s area is 222 km2.
In 1520, the Portuguese established a trading post in the village of Lamakera on the eastern side of the island as a transit harbor between Maluku and Malacca. In 1562, Dominican priests built a palm-trunk fortress which Javanese Muslims burned down the following year. The fort was rebuilt from more durable materials and the Dominicans commenced the Christianisation of the local population. By 1590 the Portuguese and Christian population numbered about 25,000. There were, however, repeated displays of resistance against both the Portuguese and their religion; in 1598-1599, for example, the Portuguese required an armada of 90 ships to put down a Solorese uprising.
At this time, there was a conflict between the traders and the priests, so the traders left Solor and settled in Larantuka at Flores island. When the Dutch came in 1613, the priests surrendered at the first attack and were brought to Larantuka, too.
The Dutch kept the fort, but did not make a profit close to the Portuguese port. After two commanders defected to the Portuguese they give up Solor. In 1636 the Portuguese were attacked by the Dutch and had to abandon the fort. In 1646 the Dutch occupied the fort again. The first of the new commanders was suspended, because he married an indigenous woman. The second commander challenged the Portuguese commander to a duel and was slain. In 1648 the Dutch left and the Dominican priests returned.
Towns and villages