Otanaha Fortress

Otanaha Fortress is one of the tourism site in Gorontalo province, Indonesia. It was built in 1522 by King Ilato from Gorontalo Kingdom and Portuguese sailors to strengthen the area security and defense.[1] Located in Dembe Hill, this fort was made from mixture of sand, calcium, and eggs of Maleo birds.[2][3] To reach the top of this fort, there are 348 steps, which separated into four stopovers: 52 steps from base to the first stopover, 83 steps from first to second stopover, 53 second to third stopover, and 89 steps from third to fourth stopover. From the last stopover, there are another 71 steps to reach the fort. From the top of this fortress, there are panoramic view of Limboto Lake and some part of Gorontalo region.[4]

The front side of Otanaha Fortress


The panoramic view of Limboto Lake and Otahiya fortress from the top of Otanaha Fortress.

According to history, in the 15th century, the Portuguese sailor stopped in Kota Barat, Gorontalo because the bad weather, pirate threat, and lack of foods. They offered the king of Gorontalo to build three fortress in the top of Dembe Hill to protect the area. The Ilato King had two daughters name Ndoba and Tiliaya, and one son called Naha. However, after the construction of those fortress, the Gorontalo princesses found out that Portuguese misused the kingdom's kindness as instrument to drive away their pirates enemy. Then, the Gorontalo people turned back to dislodge Portuguese out of their kingdom.

When Naha replaced his father and became the King of Gorontalo, there were a war from Hemuto, the leader of transmigrant in north region. In 1585, he accidentally found Otanaha fortress and used it as shelter of his wife, Ohihiya, and their two son Paha (Pahu) and Limonu. During the war, Naha and Paha were killed by Hemuto. Then, Limonu made a revenge and killed Hemuto.

The name of three fortress used during the war was given based on Naha family. The first fort name Otanaha from Ota means fort and Naha was the person who found the fort. The second fortress was named Otahiya from word Hiya, acronym of Ohihiya (Naha's wife). And the third fort named Uwole which means Pahu's (Naha's son) fortress.[5][6]


  1. ^ Wisatamelayu.com. "Otanaha Fortress". Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  2. ^ Gorontalofamily.org. "Wisata: Benteng Otanaha" (PDF). Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  3. ^ Indonesiacommerce.com. "Interesting Destination: Otanaha Fortress". Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  4. ^ Yudono, Jodhi (2 December 2009). "Benteng Otanaha Peninggalan Portugis akan Direnovasi". Kompas.com.
  5. ^ Baruadi, Novinda. "History of Otanaha Fortress". http://novinda-baruadi.ueuo.com/sejara%20B.%20otanaha.html. External link in |publisher= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  6. ^ .internationalmaizeconference.com. "Otanaha Fortress". http://www.internationalmaizeconference.com/en/tourism.html. External link in |publisher= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)

Coordinates: 0°32′56″N 123°0′30″E / 0.54889°N 123.00833°E / 0.54889; 123.00833