Makassar, (Makassarese language:sometimes spelled Macassar, Mangkasar) is the provincial capital of South Sulawesi, Indonesia, and the largest city on Sulawesi Island.
From 1971 to 1999, the city was named Ujung Pandang, after a precolonial fort in the city, and the two names are often used interchangeably.
The port city is located at 5°8′S 119°25′ECoordinates: 5°8′S 119°25′E, on the southwest coast of the island of Sulawesi, facing the Makassar
Its area is 175.77 km2 and has population of around 1.4 million.
Beginning in the sixteenth century, Makassar was the dominant trading center of eastern Indonesia, and soon became one of the largest cities in island Southeast Asia. The Makassarese kings maintained a policy of free trade, insisting on the right of any visitor to do business in the city, and rejecting the attempts of the Dutch to establish a monopoly over the city.
Sulawesi's colourful history is the story of spices and foreign merchants of mariners and sultans and of foreign power wresting control of the spice trade. Much of South Sulawesi's early history was written in old texts that can be traced back to the 13th and 14th centuries.
The first European settlers were the Portuguese sailors. When the Portuguese reached Sulawesi in 1511, they found Makassar a thriving cosmopolitan entre-port where Chinese, Arabs, Indians, Siamese, Javanese, and Malays came to trade their manufactured metal goods and fine textiles for precious pearls, gold, copper, camphor and spices - nutmeg, cloves and mace imported from the interior and the neighbouring Spice Islands of Maluku. By the 16th century, Makassar had become Sulawesi's major port and centre of the powerful Gowa and Tallo sultanates which between them had a series of 11 fortresses and strongholds and a fortified sea wall which extended along the coast.
The arrival of the Dutch in the early 17th century, altered events dramatically. Their first objective was to create a hegemony over the spice trade and their first move was to capture the fort of Makassar in 1667, which they rebuilt and renamed Fort Rotterdam. From this base they managed to destroy the strongholds of the Sultan of Gowa who was then forced to live on the outskirts of Makassar. Following the Java War (1825–1830), Prince Diponegoro was exiled to Fort Rotterdam until his death in 1855.
The character of this old trading centre changed as a walled city known as Vlaardingen grew, a place where slaves were at the bidding of the imposing foreigners. Gradually, in defiance of the Dutch, the Arabs, Malays and Bugis returned to trade outside the grim fortress walls and later also the Chinese.
The town again became a collecting point for the produce of eastern Indonesia - the copra, rattan, pearls, trepang and sandalwood and the famous oil made from bado nuts used in Europe as men's hair dressing - hence the anti-macassars (embroidered cloths placed at head rests of upholstered chairs).
Although the Dutch controlled the coast, it was not until the early 20th century that they gained power over the interior of the south through a series of treaties with local rulers. Meanwhile Dutch missionaries converted many of the Toraja people to Christianity. By 1938, the population of Makassar had reached around 84,000 - a town described by writer Joseph Conrad as "the prettiest and perhaps, cleanest looking of all the towns in the islands".
In World War II the Makassar area was defended by approximately 1000 men of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army commanded by Colonel M. Vooren. He decided he couldn't defend on the coast and was planning to fight a guerilla war inland. The Japanese landed near Makassar on 9 February 1942. The defenders retreated but were soon overtaken & captured.
Following the Indonesian National Revolution in 1950, Makassar was the site of fighting between pro-Federalist forces under Captain Abdul Assiz and Republican forces under Colonel Sunkono during the Makassar Uprising. By the 1950s, the population had increased to such a degree that many of the historic sites gave way to modern development and today you need to look very carefully to find the few remains of the city's once grand history.
Further, tolerant religious attitudes meant that even as Islam became the dominant faith in the region, Christians and others were still able to trade in the city. With these attractions, Makassar was a key center for Malays working in the spice trade, as well as a valuable base for European and Arab traders from much further afield.
The city is southern Sulawesi's primary port, with regular domestic and international shipping connections. It is nationally famous as an important port of call for the pinisi boats, sailing ships which are among the last in use for regular long-distance trade.
During the colonial era, the city was famous for being the namesake of Makassar oil, which it exported in great quantity. Makassar ebony is a warm black hue, streaked with tan or brown tones, and highly prized for use in making fine cabinetry and veneers.
Nowadays, as the largest city in Sulawesi Island and Eastern Indonesia, the city's economy depends highly on service sectors with approximately 70% from total share. Restaurant and hotel service are the largest contributor (29.14%), followed by transportation and communication (14.86%), trading (14.86), finance (10.58%). Industry follows behind service with 21.34%.
Contact with Australia
Makassar is also a major fishing center in Sulawesi. One of its major industries is the trepang (sea cucumber) industry. Trepang fishing brought the Makassan people into contact with the Yolŋu people of Northern Australia.
C. C. MacKnight in his 1976 work entitled Voyage to Marege: Macassan Trepangers in Northern Australia has shown that they began frequenting the north of Australia some time around 1700 in search of trepang (sea-slug, sea cucumber, Beche-de-mer) an edible Holothurian. They left their waters during the North-west Monsoon in December or January for what is now Arnhem Land, Marege or Marega and to the Kimberley region or Kayu Djawa. They returned home with the South-east Trades in April. A fleet of between 24 and 26 Macassan prahus was seen in 1803 by the French explorers under Nicolas Baudin on the Holothuria Banks in the Timor Sea. In February 1803, Matthew Flinders in the Investigator met six prahus with 20-25 men each on board and was told that there were 60 prahus then on the north Australian coast. They were fishing for trepang and appeared to have only a small compass as a navigation aid. In June 1818 Macassan trepang fishing was noted by Phillip Parker King in the vicinity of Port Essington in the Arafura Sea. In 1864 R.J. Sholl, then resident magistrate for the European settlement at Camden Sound (near Augustus Island in the Kimberley region) observed seven ‘Macassan’ prahus with around 300 men on board. He believed that they made kidnapping raids and ranged as far south as Roebuck Bay (later Broome) where ‘quite a fleet’ was seen around 1866. Sholl believed that they did not venture south into other areas such as Nickol Bay (where the European pearling industry commenced around 1865) due to the absence of trepang in those waters. The Macassan voyages appear to have ceased sometime in the late nineteenth century and their place was taken by other sailors operating from elsewhere in the Indonesian Archipelago.
Makassar has a public transportation system called 'pete-pete'. A pete-pete (known elsewhere in Indonesia as angkot) is a mini-bus that has been modified to carry passengers. The route of Makassar's pete-petes is denoted by the letter on the windshield. Makassar is famous for their "becak" (pedicab) which is smaller than the "becak" in the island of Java. In Makassar, people who drive pedicab are called Daeng. The city airport is Hasanuddin International Airport which is actually located outside the Makassar city administration area. It is formally located in the regency of Maros. In addition to "becak" and "pete-pete", the city has government-run bus system, and taxis.
A 35-kilometer monorail in the areas of Makassar, Maros, Sungguminasa, and Takalar (Mamminasata) will be realised in 2014 with cost predicted Rp.4 trillion ($468 million). The memorandum of understanding has been signed in July 25, 2011 by Makassar city, Maros Regency and Gowa Regency.
Makassar is home to several prominent landmarks including the 16th century Dutch fort Fort Rotterdam, Trans Studio Makassar—the third largest indoor theme park in the world and the Karebosi Link—the first underground shopping center in Indonesia.
Makassar has several famous traditional foods. The most famous is Coto Makassar. It is a stew made from the mixture of nuts and spices with beef parts which include beef brain, tongue and intestine. Konro rib dish is also popular traditional food in Makassar. Both Coto Makassar and Konro are usually eaten with Burasa, a glutinous rice with coconut milk and sauted coconut granule.
In addition, Makassar is the home of pisang epe, or pressed bananas. These are bananas which are pressed, grilled, and covered with palm sugar sauce and sometimes eaten with Durian. Many street vendors sell pisang epe, especially around the area of Losari beach.
Since 9 September 2009, Makassar was home to the Trans Kalla—the biggest indoor theme park in Southeast Asia and third largest in the world. The theme park was created by a joint company between Trans TV and former Vice President Jusuf Kalla's company Kalla Group. Beside the Theme Park, it also has a tourist resort, a marina, a bank office, and a shopping center which will be completed around 2012. The theme park is located in Tanjung Bunga. The local government is planning to build a CPI which includes the Presidential House near the theme park.
In July 2010, the first exclusive shopping centre Trans Studio Mall which is just inside the Jusuf Kalla was opened. Some famous brands opening shops in the mall were Hugo Boss, Armani Jeans, Aigner, Mothercare, Mango, Tod's, Miu Miu, and Francesco Biasia. Other brands opened temporary stores to assess the market. This is the first shopping mall to have medium to high range stores and the target market is the people from eastern Indonesia.