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#BAZAAREscape: Sail Into The Mystical 16th To 18th Century

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Fort Duurstede

After a few days’ worth of sail through the Molucca Sea, we found ourselves anchored at the pristine white beach with no other tourists in sight at Saparua Island, which lies in the shadow of Fort Duurstede, built to protect the spice trade. Our zodiac boat left us right at the entrance of an antiquated building housing a local history museum, its scenic balcony facing the blue ocean of gentle winds. Here we learn that the production of cloves was restricted to the vicinity of Ambon, and strictly controlled in order to maintain the monopoly of the Dutch East Indies Company. In 1817 Saparua hit the headlines when local hero Pattimura led a rebellion against the Dutch, successfully capturing and holding the fort for several months. Walking across the huge lawn into the gates of Fort Duurstede, a cooling effect took over, even on a scorching day, a welcome respite from the sticky humidity of the afternoon sun. Inside, the walls of the fort which were once under covers are now weathered down, while the 18th century rustic cannons remains intact, decorating the exterior of the fort with an eerie feel.

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