The Birth of Sunda Kalapa


Seven hundred years ago, at the outfall of the Ciliwung river, a small port called Kalapa is one of the port owned by Sunda kingdom. At first, Kalapa is the only place unloading dock of the King. The distance between the Kalapa port to the capital of the Kingdom Sunda need a two-day journey through the Ciliwung River.

The Kalapa position is very strategic because it is located at the end of the Malacca Strait, so it became a haven for traders from Palembang, Tajungpura, Malacca, Makassar, Madura, India, South China, and Japan. The arrival of these traders had made Kalapa increasingly crowded port. The high trading activities in Kapala Prot has made Kalapa reckoned as one of the most important trading centers in Asia in the 12th century.

Because the position of Kalapa increasingly important, it has attracted the interest of Portuguese who since 1511 has been in power in Malacca. In 1522, delegates from the Portuguese came to the Kingdom of Sunda to make an agreement with the King. On August 21, 1522 an agreement was signed between the Kingdom of Sunda and the Portuguese which contains, among others, the Portuguese allowed to set up warehouse and fortress on the banks of the Ciliwung River. This agreement is the first agreement reach between the ancient powers in Indonesia and Europe. It is said that Portuguese is the ones who have popularized Sunda Kalapa which have meaning Kalapa harbor in the Kingdom of Sunda

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