Vastenburg Fortress : Witness of Dutch Interference in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia

Vastenburg Fortress is located in the middle of Solo, and currently only the ruin overgrown by reeds that can be seen. The fortress was important, as it was the center of relation between Solo and Semarang. In XVIII-XIX, Solo was the center of trade, marked by the development of colonial city, and uniquely, Solo also has traditional atmosphere. There rae many remains of city nearby the fortress, such as St ANtonius Church, former Javasche Bank, Post Office, Resident House, Solo-Semarang road, European houses, and Societeit Harmoni.

Colonial city is marked with a fortress. Dutch decorated the city since Kartasura Kingdom period. Every internal affair of Kingdom were interfered by Dutch, such as security, trade, housing, town plan, and policy. On the north of the fortress was used as anchorage of trade ships.

This fortress is the manirestation of Dutch control over indigenous and other ethnics. Dutch limited race class to mingle, as Dutch consider that assimilation is vital for Dutch. In  De Graaf memoir, he wrote that before Vastenburg fortress erected, there was already a fortress for surveillance and military base,  Grodenmodenheit fortress. Few years ago discovered barrel length cannon not far from here.

Holland Resident based in the fortress area under Governor General that was baed in Semarang. As the good access from  Solo-Semarang, any new issues in Solo could be heard easily by Governor General in Semarang. For example when there was incident in China town in XVIII century,  when Chinese rampages, but finally it could be solved because of fortress surveillance.

The mapping and colonial design id very obvious in Solo, although it was under Javanese Kingdom. Railway infrastructure Wonogiri-Solo, on the  south of the fortress had deviated javanese concept of king spiritual for top of Pagelaran that was straightaway to the north of Tugu Pemandengan.

It is unfortunate that the fortress only ruins while this was a witness of cultuur stelsel that set each ethnic in Solo to mingle to each other.