1633. Chief merchant Ottens demolished the old Logie (accommodation/office) in Hila and built a new stone house which had the shape of a redoubt.(1)
1634. Because the people of Hitoe disliked the government of the current governor (Artus Gysels), Hila village became empty, and the people stationed in the redoubt could not obtain food supply.
1637. In the meantime, order was restored by governor Johan Ottens, and building materials were brought in for the building of a stone Logie, resembleing a redoubt, in Hila; the construction was accelerated and soon it was possible to station soldiers in the redoubt and the "cora-cora" people built a palisade (pagger) encircling the structure.(2)
1644. On May 17, an earthquake caused great damage to the redoubts in Banguela, Hila and Oma, but no deaths were reported. (3)
1648. De Vlaming ordered the construction of a stone outwork complemented with towo "points" (bastions) as fortifications and thus they could now defend an enemy.(4)
1649. In Fberuary (1649) the old redoubt of Hila was demolished, and a new one was built, measuring 50 square feet, the work started from the center of the stone pagger.(5)
1653. In the meantime, De Vlaming was of the opinion that 3 more stone redoubts should be built along the coast of Hitu, and the two "points" (bastions) in Hila should be repaired; the chiefs of Hitu (Orang Kaya) had promised to comply to his plans.(6)
1674. Strong earthwuake on February 17 between 7.30 and 8.00, causing great damage in a wide area. When the quake was felt, the people in Hila, where according to people the tremors were much stronger, rushed down from the redoubt to the square, thinking that it was a safer place, but nobody thought about the water which suddenly bounced up to the gallery of Amsterdam redoubt and reached the roofs and swept away 28 people, among them the sergeant and two corporals, together with the 10-feet high wall (which was at the bottom 98 feet thick). Besides the other houses in the square, the settlements around the redoubt were also damaged, except two houses that still stood on their poles; 1,461 people died. The two "points" (small bastions) of the redoubt although damaged remained standing, and the cannon was thrashed about, hanging dowards in one of the embrasures (shooting holes) and one was smashed from its carriage, damaging the wheels. Several soldiers embraced the cannon and let the water stream over their bodies and held out and were saved. There were 12 men left of the original 40.
The Company had also built a wooden logie somewhat nearer the beach and had made Hila the capital of this area which became one of the pleasant places outside Java. In 1637, a wooden fence was built around the Company's logie (lodge), and later a stone structure was built by Ottens, which was developed into a stone fortification by Demmer and which De Vlaming expanded into a 50 sqaure feet structure with stone parapet, 10 feet high and complemented with "points" (small bastions). This redoubt which was named Amsterdam as in drawing XXVI, stood next to the soldiers quarter house on one side and the hills on the other side; there were 16 cannons and 40 soldiers under the command of a sergeant who was responsible to the chief merchant; it also had a strong guard of soldiers named Pagger and Corps Guarde.(7)
1839 Amsterdam, fort in East Indies in the island of Amboina, on Hitoe peninsula at the coast of Hila, in the most pleasant part of the island. In 1657 a wooden fence (pagger) was built. Later, Ottens built a stone lodge which was extended by De Vlaming to a 50 square feet structure with a 10-feet parapet and a bastion. Stationed there were, under the control of VOC, 16 cannons and 40 soldiers, under the command of a sergeant who was under the control of the chief of Hila. (8)
The blockhouse Amsterdam in Hila was built around 1636 and was in 1656 enlarged by De Vlaming. For the greater part it was a structure made of roll-stones of two floors and a wallwalk and a pointed roof which has now disappeared. There is a stone which is inscribed with the name of the blockhouse and the coat of arms of De Vlaming. Around it was a walled space with two bastions and two rooms. .(9)
1857. Included in the class of fortification of the 4th. rank (SNI 1857 no. 3)
1863. Included in the class of fortification of the 4th. rank (SNI 1863 no. 31
1864. Amboina Residency (District)
330 Amboina of Ambon the
330 Hila, capital of sub-district Hila and Larike with a population of 670 in 1854. It is protected by a small fort, Amsterdam, which had a small troop; there's also a church. In 1854 the army stationed there consisted of 1 officer and 33 men. [Hollander 1864, Deel II, 331]
1868 SNI 1868 no. 31 DEFENSE, MOLUCCAS ISLANDS, CELEBES AND DEPENDENCES
Alteration of Statute book. 1863, no. 31
GG February 28, 1868 no. 9
With the alteration of decrees dated March 17, 1863 no. 11, Statute book no. 41, it is decreed that Fort Amsterdam in Hila (the Moluccas islands) and the redoubt "fort Defensie" at Saleijer (Celebes and dependences) would hencefort be classified as foritifation of the 4th. rank, which although evacuated and dismantled of weapons, with the existing or to be stipulated forbidden area, would be maintained by the chiefs of the local authorities in such a condition that, in the event of a rebellion or war, would at all times be able to be re-utilized and defended.
Secr. Gen. Wattendorff, March 1, 1868
SNI 1869 no. 38 DEFENSIE. Alteration of decrees dated March 17, 1863 no. 11 (Stbl. 31) and February 28, 1868 no. 6 (Stbl. no. 36)
GG May 1, 1869 no. 36
With the alteration of decrees dated March 17, 1863 no. 11 (Stbl. 31) and of February 28, 1868 no. 6 (Stbl. no. 36), it is decreed that fort Amsterdam in Hila (Moluccas islands) is no more included in the list of permanent fortifications of the 4th. rank, and would be taken out from decree of March 17, 1863, no. 11 (Stb. No31), pertaining to permanent fortifications as stated in the Ranking on Java and Madure and on the Outer settlements.
Secr. Gen. Wattendorff, May 5, 1869
[1928 written] 7. Fort Amsterdam in Hila (1651) (drawing no. 5)
Along the beach, about 4 meters above the sea, lies the ruins of the then strong fort. From a lonely wooden merchant house, developed firt to a stone blockhouse and later complemented by a stone parapet with two bastions situated one opposite the other, there now are the remains of best preserved VOC monument in Hitu. On the west side is a thick stone parapet with a sharp corner. Between the two bastions is a wide wallwalk running through the corner (formerly the storage of an armoury), with its access road in the northern bastion.
A small five-step stone staircase leads from thie wallwalk to the two small bastions that wer slightly elevated. The outer wall has completely collapsed and is cleared away, but there are some rooms which had been built against the outside wall which serve a a waiting room. Between those rooms and in the center of the inner courtyard isa clear water well on a site slightly elevated than the blockhouse which had a land surface of 14 x 14 meter. Originally, in 1818, at the elevation of one first floor, there was the elevated platform complemented with a parapet as a room, and a pointed roof which had made the one floor into a tw-floor structure. The blockhouse gate (see drw. 11) is located at the outside wall facing northwest and on a reddish marl stone is inscribed the coat of arms of Arnold de Vlaming van Oudshoorn. (see drw 11 and 12)
This remarkable and beautiful stone was in 1927, for preservation purposes, trasnferred to Fort Nieuw Victoria where it is now next to the Watergate, a beautiful congtrast to the grey stone wall.
In the blockhouse, at about the same elevation where the coat of arms of De Vlaming was inscribed, was a grey gable stone which was also inscribed but due to weathering the inscription is not unreadble, it lies above the ruins of a window opening. The sufficiently intact blockhouse is kept standing by an old "waringin" tree with its air roots and branches supporting the walls, and should one day the old tree die, than the blockhouse would not long afterwards also crumble down. The typical window openings are strengthened by iron posts (drw. 5)
The three rooms, built in the inner side of the southeast wall, were once the handsome house of the merchant where a number of people had been accommodated.
[Jaspers 1932, 152]
: The stone blockhouse Amsterdam in Hila mentioned the name and has inscribed the coat of arms of De Vlaming which had been transferred to fort Victoria and plastered next to the Watergate.. (10).
1637. Governor Ottens restoring wooden residential buildings into residential buildings of stone, which later (ca. 1640) by Governor Gerard Demmer redeveloped into a stone fortress, which became known as Fort Amsterdam.
1649-1656. Eastern Commissioner, Arnold de Vlaming van Oudshoorn, restore and expand the castle.
1) Hila: Valentijn 1724, Deel II, Tweede Boek, 90.
(2) Hila: Valentijn 1724, Deel II, Tweede Boek, Eerste Hoofdstuk, 117.
(3) Valentijn 1724, Deel II, 3e boek, 146.
(4) Hila: Valentijn 1724, Deel II, Derde Boek, Tweede Hoofdstuk, 157.
(5) Hila: Valentijn 1724, Deel II, Derde Boek, Derde Hoofdstuk, 158.
(6) Hila: Valentijn 1724, Deel II, Derde Boek, Vierde Hoofdstuk, 187.