On the 27th evening of Ramadan, Lailat-ul-Qadr celebrations see the sultan’s procession arrive to a mass of flaming torches at the Royal...
Known to the Portuguese as Fort Malayo, the Dutch-built Benteng Oranye, which dates from the early 17th century, is a sprawling, largely...
Majolica Ulama Indonesia
It's hardly the Hagia Sophia, and the seaward minarets have been reclaimed by the sea (only the crumbled footings remain), but this...
Rumah Makan Popeda Gamalama
This wonderful little market shack is the choice spot to try popeda in Ternate. An array of fish, stewed greens, mushrooms, pumpkin and...
Built in 1834 and restored in semi-colonial style, the Sultan’s Palace is still a family home. There's a museum section with a small but interesting collection of historic weaponry and memorabilia from the reigns of past sultans, whose lineage dates back to 1257. Unfortunately, the Keraton is sometimes closed during advertised hours, and an adjoining purpose-built museum was two years behind schedule at the time of research.
You need a special invitation from the sultan to see the famous mahkota (royal crown). Topped with cassowary feathers, it supposedly has magical powers such as growing ‘hair’, and keeping the volcano in check. The mahkota is only worn at coronations and during the Legu Gam , or 'People's Festival'. Ternate's main festival is held in April, culminating on the late sultan’s birthday (he passed away in early 2015) and involves traditional performers, the Gam Maracahaya (a torch-lit flotilla) and a ritual scaling of Gamalama.