Fort de Kock – In addition to its natural and culinary attractions, the City of Bukittinggi has many relics from the Dutch East Indies government which are historical tourist attractions. In addition to the Clock Tower which became an icon of the city and the home of the birth of the Proclaimer Bung Hatta, the city also has a historic fort that is worth visiting.

Fort de Kock
Fort de Kock

The fort is Fort de Kock, an important fort in the historical record of the struggle of the Bukittinggi people to drive out invaders. The fort which is located on the top of Bukit Jirek is a witness to the persistence of the Paderi forces led by Imam Bonjol in fighting the Dutch East Indies troops.

This fort was founded around 1826 by Johan Heinrich Conrad Bauer who was then a captain and led one of the Dutch East Indies army units to the interior of West Sumatra. This fort was actually given the name ‘Sterreschans’ which means protective fortress.

Fort de Kock
Fort de Kock

The name Fort de Kock is actually another name for the location where the fortress stands, Bukit Jirek. The name of this location was dedicated by Bauer to the Lieutenant Governor General of the Dutch East Indies who was also the Military Commander (commandant der troepen) at the time, Hendrik Merkus Baron de Kock.

The existence of this fort in the city of Bukittinggi cannot be separated from the history of the Paderi War (1803-1838). The dispute between the Indigenous Peoples who still held the old custom and the Paderi who held the Islamic Sharia led to the entry of the Dutch East Indies army into the conflict.

The Dutch East Indies government which was asked for assistance by the Indigenous People freely erected a number of fortifications in the Minangkabau highlands (darek) to defeat the Paderi, including Fort de Kock in Bukittinggi and Fort van der Capellen in Batusangkar. The cooperation agreement between the Indigenous Peoples and the Dutch East Indies eventually turned to disadvantage the Indigenous people themselves and caused the collapse of the Kingdom of Pagaruyung.

It can be said that there is almost nothing left from the original building of the fort which is located about 1 km north of the Clock Tower. The scene that was seen was only the remains of the trench that had existed in the fort. At the top of this fort area, now stands a green building that can be used by visitors to see the scenery around the City of Bukittinggi. Due to the absence of form from the original fort, this building is often enshrined in the photographs of their trips to Fort de Kock Fortress.

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