The city of Bukittinggi in the Dutch colonial era was called Fort de Kock and was also known as Parijs van Sumatra. In this city, there is a Dutch heritage fort called Fort de Kock. It was founded around 1826 by a captain named Johan Heinrich Conrad Bauer. At that time he was the leader of a unit of the Dutch East Indies army in the interior of West Sumatra.
At the time of the Padri War in 1803-1838, there was a dispute between the indigenous people (kaum adat) who still carried out the old customs and the Padri who believed in Islamic law. When that happened, the Dutch East Indies armies helped the indigenous people (kaum adat). They built several forts in the Minangkabau highlands to defeat the Padri.
The two forts they built were Fort de Kock in Bukittinggi and Fort van der Capellen in Batusangkar. The Fort de Kock building is located on a hill, so the Dutch were very free to observe all the activities that took place in the surrounding area. But it turned out that the relationship between the indigenous people (kaum adat) and the Dutch East Indies did not go well. The indigenous people also felt aggrieved because the kingdom of Pagaruyung collapsed.
As a result of the war, Fort de Kock was destroyed. Currently, the original building of the fort is no longer there. All that remains is a rectangular foundation and a tub of water. In addition, eight iron cannons are, now installed around the area of the former fort. While on the outside it is limited by a circular moat one meter deep and about three meters wide.
From the Fort de Kock area, visitors can cross to the Kinantan Wildlife and Culture Park via the Limpapeh Bridge. This bridge connects the Fort De Kock area and the Kinantan Wildlife and Cultural Park on Jirek Hill. This bridge was built in 1995, where from the middle of the bridge we can see the beautiful and magnificent view of the Barisan Hill stretch of the Bukittinggi Mayor’s office building on the Gulai Bancah hill. When facing south, our eyes will see Mount Marapi and Mount Singgalang from a distance.
Kinantan Wildlife Park was designed in 1900 by an Assistant Resident of Agam named Storm Gravenande. He designed and built a flower garden located in Malambuang Hill. And in the end this flower garden was given the name “Stormpark”. Furthermore, on July 3, 1929 Dr. J. Hock changed the name of the location to Fort De Kocksche Dieren Park and added the function of a flower garden to a zoo along with the inclusion of several animal collections. Fort De Kocksche Dieren Park later changed its name to Puti Bungsu Park, and finally in 1995 the name was changed to Kinantan Wildlife and Culture Park.
All kinds of animals are complete here. From large animals to small animals, herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores, everything is fully presented. This visit to the Zoo is a moment of togetherness and happiness but wrapped in education, both with family and friends. It is important to remember, visitor safety protocols and visitor rules for animals set by the manager must be obeyed.
Four new zones were inaugurated in 2021, namely the bird zone with the concept of an aviary garden. The second is the reptile zone which consists of outdoor and indoor buildings. The outdoor building is filled with species of turtles and crocodiles. While the indoor building consists of 23 glass rooms filled with snake and lizard species. The third is the carnivorous zone/tiger enclosure. Visitors can watch tigers up close because the tiger enclosure and the observation room are limited by 26 mm thick glass for security and anticipation of earthquakes. The fourth zone is a giant aquarium filled with various species of freshwater fish and seawater fish placed in an aquarium made of glass.
If you want to observe animals that have been preserved, visit the Zoological Museum which is inside the Kinantan Wildlife Park. The types of collections owned consist of biological research objects, historical evidence of wartime relics, and ancient currency. The establishment of the Zoological Museum coincided with the establishment of the Bogor Zoological Museum in 1894. The museum was renovated in 2010 by the Bukittinggi City government. It collects more than 2000 types of animals native to Indonesia.
The next tourist spot in the Kinantan wildlife park is the Baanjuang Traditional House museum. It was founded by a Dutch national, Mondelar Countrelleur, on July 1, 1935. Initially, the Baanjuang Traditional House Museum was named the Baanjuang Museum. After that, the museum changed its name to the Bundo Kanduang Museum. In 2005, the name of this museum was changed again based on the Regional Regulation of Bukittinggi City Number 5 of 2005. The name of the museum was returned to its original name and given an additional identity so that its name became the Baanjuang Traditional House Museum.
Inside the Baanjuang Traditional House in the Wildlife and Cultural Park tourist area, there are many collections of items that contain high historical and cultural values. There are also jewelry and traditional Minangkabau art tools.
Source: One of collections at museum.sikamek.sumbarprov.go.id.photo
The city, whose anniversary is commemorated every December 22, was once the capital of the province of West Sumatra until 1978 (de jure) and was also the capital city of the Republic of Indonesia when Yogyakarta (at that time was the nation’s capital) was occupied by the Dutch on December 19, 1948. The move of the national capital from Yogyakarta to Bukittinggi was known as the Emergency Government of the Republic of Indonesia, which in 2006 was designated by the government as National Defense Day.