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Denpasar History, Indonesia

Denpasar, like any other country in the world is rich in cultural and traditional heritages brought about by their history.  It was previously called Badung and is the capital city of Indonesia.  The people of Denpasar concentrated on tourism to be its main industry.  Let us take a look at the records about the city’s history.

Puputan Badung War

Dating back to 1906, Badung was under the Dutch Invaders.  This was during the rule of King Gusti Gde Ngurah Denpasar.  The sovereign ruler refuted to undergo negotiation with these colonizers, which caused war between them. An anti-colonial war took place despite his merely two years in the service of the people of Badung.  He involved the people in this so-called Putputan Badung War. 

King Denpasar together with his men was dressed in white during the war.  They bravely faced the Dutch army with the use of keris or swords with curved blades.  This was like having suicide on the part of the king and his people which lead to their death.  The Dutch colonization ended the Badung Empire.

Life goes on for Badung

After this era, the Dutch took reign on Badung and took over Denpasar Palace which is now known as the Jaya Sabha, the Governor’s official residence.  The palace was destroyed and the survivors were obliged to move to another place, the Satria Palace.  People then travelled from the northern side of the Puputan Square to its southern side. 

Despite this drastic experience, the people of Badung, particularly the heirs to the throne of the king, were not ripped-off of their positions, thus regaining their titles.  This is because the Dutch adapted a procedure known as co-optation, where the Dutch absorbed and involved the people of Badung by making promises and concessions.

Developing the city

The Dutch invasion paved the way for greater opportunities for the people of Badung.  They have exerted all possible efforts in order to develop the city and make it as modern as other places in the Dutch East Indies.  They introduced a new banking system and built other infrastructures in the place including bridges, roads and a port found in Sanur. 

Despite all these changes, however, the Dutch respected the culture and heritage of the people.  They preserved the place’s history and civilization by constructing Museums under the sponsorship of the Dutch government.  The Bali Museum was developed and structured from 1910 to 1925.

Tourists began to be interested in visiting the place with the construction of the museum, thus giving the Dutch the idea of building another structure in Bali, which is the Bali Hotel.  Considered as the island’s first hotel, it was built in 1926, just a year after that of the museum’s creation.  It is situated near the museum in Jalan Veteran.

Indonesia’s Declaration of Independence

It was in February 19, 1942 when the Japanese took over Dutch occupancy.  Their regime lasted for three years and in 1945, Indonesia declared Independence for the city. Denpasar became the seat of political parties and was regarded as Bali’s administrative center.

In the 1950’s, tourism and other industries in Denpasar boomed.  The city became the center of tourism in Bali as art  galleries, travel agencies and tourist transport companies were found all over the place.

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