Benteng Van der Wijck is located in Kebumen, only 300 meters from mainroad of Yogyakarta-Kebumen. The fortress is dominated with red color. A mini train will transport visitors from main gate to this historical site.
Inside the fortress documentary photos about the original fortress building when it was discovered are displayed and also photos of restoration stages. The military barracks, and posts inside the fortress are very clean.
The fortress was built in the early 19th century, in 1820s, when Diponegoro uprising was ongoing. This rebellion troubled Dutch a lot, as Diponegoro was supported by Southern Javanese elite. So Dutch decided to build stelsel fortress on land conquered. This fortress was initiated by General Van den Bosch for defensive and offensive fortress at South Kedu Residency. In that period, there are numerous fortress built with servitude labor system, as there was a regulation that civilians should pay tax by participating in labor. Previously, General Deandels got similar project of road from Anyer panarukan, 1000 km long withs ervitude labor.
This fortress in the same period of Willem Fortress in Mbarawa and Prins Orange Fortress in Semarang (collapsed already). This 10 m high fortress was initially named as Fort Cochius, taken from Dutch military official Frans David Cochius who was assigned as Bagelen region ar Kedu Residency. Van Der Wijck name was written on the entrance, one of Dutch commander in that fortress. His reputation was splendid to silence Aceh Rebellion with ruthless method. In Japanese occupation, this fortress was used as military dorm for PETA fighters.
The fortress covers 3606.62 sqm, and has been renovated.