Makassar is the provincial capital of South Sulawesi. It started to become an important trading port beginning in the early sixteenth century as part of the kingdom of Gowa. The Kings who ruled Gowa were strong believers in free trade, which proved a hindrance to the Dutch plans to monopolize the spice trade when they arrived. The Dutch sponsored a revolt by some of the other kingdoms under Gowa's rule, and eventually forced a treaty which allowed them to effectively occupy Makassar in 1667.
The people of South Sulawesi are staunchly independent, and resistance to the Dutch continued into the 1930s. There has even been some resistance to central Indonesian rule.
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From 1971 to 1999, Makassar was known as Ujung Pandang, and you still see this name used sometimes. The city's name is also sometimes spelled Macassar.
Makassar is actually a rather large, sprawling city, but most of the hotels and sights of the city are on or near the waterfront. The most notable sight in Makassar is probably Fort Rotterdam, said to be one of the best preserved Dutch buildings in Indonesia. The fort was originally built around 1667, after the Treaty of Bungaya gave the Dutch access to South Sulawesi. The Gowa kingdom had a fort on this land, but nothing of it remains. The fort is open every day, but the museum inside is only open mornings, Tuesday to Sunday.
Behind Fort Rotterdam is Museum Kota, housed in an old but rather unkempt building. A bit further north is the grave of Prince Diponegoro of Yogyakarta. The Prince led a rebellion against the Dutch in the nineteenth century, but he was tricked into meeting with the Dutch, who captured him and exiled the prince to Sulawesi, where he was imprisoned in Fort Rotterdam. His grave is in a small cemetery on Jalan Diponegoro, just off Jalan Andalas.
South of Makassar are the remains of the old Gowa kingdom. On the edge of town are the tomb of Sultan Hasanuddin, and near here is the Pelantikan Stone where the kings of Gowa were crowned. Further south is the former royal residence, now the Ballalompoa Museum.