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Banda the 17th Century Spice Trade Center

Rhun Island, the smallest island in Banda with the most nutmeg tree, back in the 17th century. image by : Muhammad Fadli for proof.nationalgeographic.com

Rhun Island, the smallest island in Banda with the most nutmeg tree, back in the 17th century. image by : Muhammad Fadli for proof.nationalgeographic.com

The Forgotten Island

Banda Islands, located about 2.000 km east of Java, in Banda Sea, consists of 10 volcanic islands with climbable mountains, covered in lush green vegetation. Beside its nature's undeniable beauty, Banda Islands preserves so many histories from hundreds of years ago.

In the 17th century, Banda Islands was the world’s only source of nutmeg and mace. Not just as important ingredients in culinary, mace was thought as a cure for bubonic plague which was considered dangerous at that time. Being a rare commodity in countries all around the world, these spices were worth almost 300x its original price, in international market. For its highly profitable spices trades, colonialists including Portuguese, Dutch and British had tried to take over Banda. They fought each other to be the sole conqueror of Banda (Malaca at that time) and monopolized the world’s spice trade. They were fighting over Rhun island, a small island in Banda with the most nutmeg tree, producing almost one third of the world's supply. At one point of the war, the Dutch offered to trade Manhattan for Rhun Island.

Fort Belgica. Image : Wikipedia

Fort Belgica. Image : Wikipedia

Historic Sites

For its constant battle in order to keep their reign in Banda, The Dutch built Fort Nassau in 1609, to control their nutmeg trades, which later, also functioned as a military base and an administrative center in Banda. The Dutch didn’t just built this one fort. In 1611, they built the bigger, more strategic Fort Belgica, located above fort Nassau, settled on a beautiful Gunung Api background.

Fort Belgica, overseeing the Gunung Api volcano. Image : Wikipedia

Fort Belgica, overseeing the Gunung Api volcano. Image : Wikipedia

Now, the forts have been damaged by age, but the walls are still standing, offering a great historical appeal in Banda.

Banda's underwater beauty.

Banda's underwater beauty.

Marine Biodiversity

Being populated by 10 islands volcanic mountains, Banda ecotourism and biodiversity is mentioned to be one of the best in the world. Snorkel or dive in Banda Sea, and you’ll have the chance to see almost any kind of underwater species. From the most common in the area, Redtooth Triggerfish, Mandarin fish and Ambon Scorpion fish to dolphins, orcas, hammerhead sharks, and whales.

If you wish to visit and explore Banda, water transportation is the only way to get in and out. Some use the fast ferry provided by the government, and rely on traditional boats to explore Banda. Some chose a luxury sail with yachts like Tiger Blue