Fort Bescherming Of Cirebon: Political Context, Physical Features, And Functions In The Late Seventeenth Century


Beyond merely an unanimated object, a fort physically represents a power existence in an area. Between1681-1835, Cirebon was a home of a VOC-owned fort known as FortBescherming (protection). As the fort is no longer present, there has yet been any meticulous study that reconstructs the function, political context, andphysical characteristics of the fort that immortalizes the alliance between VOC and Cirebon Sultans. This study finds that VOC began to operate Fort Bescherming in1681. In its first year, the fort was a modest bamboo palisade. Documents recording the fort in the upcoming years indicated that it underwent several renovations. Although the fort is innately a defense facility, Fort Beschermingwas more of a political office with the core responsibility to assure Cirebon sultans’ obedience toward their alliance with the company.
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