Story of the spice trade
Unique building & fascinating collection
These old warehouses date as far back as 1652 are now home one of the city’s most interesting museums. Nutmeg, pepper, coffee, tea and other spices were once stored under the wooden beams. The building’s thick walls protecting the valuable goods from the heat and moist outside. The old buildings still echo the past and provide a perfect backdrop to tell the tales of the rich trading and shipping history of this nation that is composed of more than 17,000 islands.
Sure you have heard of Captain Cook and Marco Polo, but does the name of Laksama Malahayati also ring a bell? As the first woman admiral in the modern world, Malahayati served in the navy of the Aceh Sultanate. A permanent wax sculpture exhibition tells her story and that of other world navigators and legendary maritime figures like Putri Naga, Pesut Mahakan and Dewa Ruci. For Pirates of the Carribean fans, Davy Jones and the Flying Dutchman are represented too!
Our favourite maritime treasures must be the scale model of an original Majapahit ship, its design based on the bas-relief from the Borobudur temple.
Not to be missed are the traditional navigational instruments that were used by local fisherman to navigate the waters of the Indonesian archipelago. The museum also hosts a particularly rare collection of traditional vessels of the little known islands of Pinisi, Lancang, and Gelati.