Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Margherita Fort @ Kuching Sarawak

Margerita Fort a.k.a Kubu Margerita in Malay, was built in 1879 to protect the town of Kuching from surprise attacks by a strong enemy force. Its position by the river allowed defenders an unobstructed view of the surroundings. The fort was also designed to be aesthetically pleasing and add beauty to the town. The design is largely English.

The fort had seen four different governments science it was built. From its mast have flown the flag of Brooke, Japan’s Rising Sun during the Japanese Occupation of Malaya in the Second World War, the Union Jack of Britain, the colonial power after the war, and now the state flag of Sarawak.

Because of the peace enjoyed by Kuching, the fort has not fired a shot in anger since 1879. among its functions was as a jail, before one was built about 1.61 kilometers away.
Until the Second World War, the fort was patrolled by guards round the clock. They would cry “All’s well” every hour on the hour between 8pm and five in the morning. Their cries would be answered in sequence by their fellow guards at the palace, the clock tower across the river and the treasury. The system apparently was designed to prevent guards at the fort from sleeping on the job.

The fort is now the Police Museum. But all the historical artifact inside the fort had been move to Kuala Lumpur because of a nearby construction work. They worried that the construction area will cause certain damage to the artifact.

The Margherita Fort @ Kuching Sarawak

It looks like a castle.

According to the record, the fort was build on 1879, but it stated 1880 at the main entrance. It also stated “DUM SPIRO SPERO” on top of the year. Anyone knows what it means?

This is inside the fort. There are cannons on every direction of the fort. And there are one view tower, and a tower which use to keep…

a closer look at the cannon.

according to record, the all the cannon here has yes fire a shoot since the fort was build.

This are all British made cannon, it might still work today.

a view from the tower.

a pairs of binocular at the viewing tower, the position view in at the waterfront, so if enemy approach they will know. If they don’t fall asleep during work.

but after 128 years, this binocular is badly damage. It cannot function anymore.

this is how it looks inside the spoils binocular.

This is the second tower, it has a door. And the door was close, but it has a skeleton head mark at the door. So I open the door and..

a bag of skeletons was hanging there waiting for me to take a photo of them.Ok, say cheese guy.


Johari said...

This post takes me back to when I was younger as well. I think I went with visitors from out of town and it was quite cool to see all the cannons and weapons.

I think quite a lot of torture and capital punishment went on there - kind of like the Tower of London.

Dum Spiro Spero means "while I breathe, I hope" and was the motto of the White Rajahs.

Nice photos, as usual!

That's a cool idea for coffee on top of the civic centre main tower - I think I was up once, but I don't remember it very well to be honest.

So the library is a gym now eh? I think that's because they have that new library near the state mosque. The new library was very nice when it first opened as well. Hope they maintained it well.

So Wilson, did you go to any of your friends' open house for Hari Raya Aidil Fitri?

13th Panda said...

there's a sign there saying no cameras allowed rite?but I guess the ppl taking care of it, didn't bother about it much. This place used to be my F3 history project, and I too secretly took a few photos..HAHA!

Wilson said...

Hi Jo
Now the Fort is empty, the guard told me that have to wait for the Dewan Undagan Negeri construction to finish, then the government will just put all the historical stuff back, now is at KL.
Oh, so Dum Spiro Spero is the motto of the Brooke. wow, how u know!!!
This Raya I went to the Buddhist temple to help out, there was a praying rituals. I miss the ketumpat, and the satay sauce :( *slup*
Selamat belated Hari Raya Jo

13th panda
before I took photo, I did ask the guide for permission first, he ask me to go ahead. He's a nice guy :)

langkau fiction said...

Hey, I'm new to your blog and I quite enjoy it! :-)

Dum Spriro Spero is literally translated as "While I breathe, I hope" in Latin. When Jimmy Brooke decided to use the motto, he also kept in mind of Sarawak's "wilderness" and "savages", in which he had to control and pass on that control to his descendants. Almost akin to the Iban famous motto "Agi Idup, Agi Ngelaban". If you noticed on the emblem, there's a dog-like creature on it. It's a local but extinct badger (Mydaus javanensis) that used to thrive in Sarawak. And this badger is known for its stubbornness, reflecting Brooke's legacy. The Brooke administration under C.V. Brooke became weak after WWII and thus, spelt the end of the 'empire', ceding it to the Brits.

Wilson said...

Hi Langkau Fiction, thanks for visiting.
ur good in the sarawak history, thank you very much for the precious info. see ya