Benteng Kuto Besak (Fort)

Kuto Besak Fort is the palace building in 18th century which had become the center of Palembang sultanate. Kuto Besak Forth built in 1780 by un-known architect and the head project was a Chinese man. Kuto Besak Fort is standing at 10meters height. From here, you can see the boats traffic in Musi river. This fort is the pride of Palembang people because this stone fort is the biggest and the only fortress in Palembang that used for fight colonial.

Built in 17h century, Kuto Besak is the heritage building of Palembang Darussalam sultanate which reigned in 1550-1823. This fort has 288,75 m length, 183,75 m width, 9,99 m height and 1,99 m thick and use as defense post.

Based on the history of Official Archeological in Palembang, the development of this fort needed 17 years (1780-1797). The construction of Kuto Besak Fort was initiated by Sultan Mahmud Badarudin I who reigned in 1724-1758. The construction began in 1780 along Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin era. Kuto Besak Fort used as a castle to replace the Kuto Lamo Tua palace or Kuto Lamo Fort that not too wide enough. Today, Kuto Lamo Fort used as Museum Sultan Mahmud Badarudin II. And then, Kuto Besak Fort used official as the center of sultanate government from February 21st, 1797.

In 1821, this fort invaded by the Dutch colonial army. Kuto Besak fort was deprived and Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II discarded to Maluku. This was signed the end of Palembang sultanate era. The sign of Dutch invasion carved on Kuto Besak Fort with colonial carving style.

Kuto Besak Fort is the reflection of multi-ethnic society from Palembang Darusallam sultanate era. The head officer of the construction was a Chinese, while the workers were indigenous people of Palembang and Chinese community who worked together in the fort construction. This harmony is one of a heritage that has been maintained ’till today and has described in many events in Palembang city, such as Cap Go Meh and Imlek (Chinese New Year).

Kuto Besak Fort also strengthened with bastions in every corner. Bastion in west side is bigger and same as others fortress in Indonesia, while the other bastions have unique architecture and impossible to find in other places. The main gate of Kuto Besak fort named Lawang Kuto, located in the south side faced to Musi river, while the others gates named Lawang Borotan, located in west and east side, but the west gate is the only gate that still standing.

To reach Kuto Besak Fort is easy. You can reach it by taxi and public transportation. Bus and trans Musi also across this historical complex.

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