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Kota Tidore Kepulauan
Tidore Island Indonesia Daytime.jpg
Tidore Island, as seen from Ternate Island.
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ID Tidore.PNG
Location within Maluku Islands
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Location in Maluku, Halmahera and Indonesia
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Tidore (Halmahera)
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Tidore (Indonesia)
Coordinates: 0°41′N127°24′E / 0.683°N 127.400°E / 0.683; 127.400 Coordinates: 0°41′N127°24′E / 0.683°N 127.400°E / 0.683; 127.400
Country Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia
Region Maluku Islands
Province Flag of North Maluku.png  North Maluku
  MayorAli Ibrahim
  Vice MayorMuhammad Senin
   City 1,550.37 km2 (598.60 sq mi)
150.12 km2 (57.96 sq mi)
   City 101,414
  Density65/km2 (170/sq mi)
  Metro density370/km2 (960/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+9 (Indonesia Eastern Time)
Area code (+62) 921
Vehicle registration DG
Website tidorekota.go.id

Tidore (Indonesian : Kota Tidore Kepulauan) is a city, island, and archipelago in the Maluku Islands of eastern Indonesia, west of the larger island of Halmahera. In the pre-colonial era, the Sultanate of Tidore was a major regional political and economic power, and a fierce rival of nearby Ternate, just to the north.



Tidore Island consists of a large stratovolcano which rises from the seafloor to an elevation of 1,730 m (5,676 ft) above sea level at the conical Mount Kie Matubu on the south end of the island. The northern side of the island contains a caldera, Sabale, with two smaller volcanic cones within it.

Soasio is Tidore's capital. It has its own port, Goto, and it lies on the eastern edge of the island. It has a mini bus terminal and a market. The sultan's palace was rebuilt with completion in 2010. [2]


Tidore was the center of a spice-funded sultanate that arose in the 15th century It spent much of its history in the shadow of Ternate, another sultanate with which it had a dualistic relationship. [3]

Islam spread to Tidore around the late 15th century but Islamic influence in the area can be traced further back to the late 14th century. [4]

The sultans of Tidore ruled most of southern Halmahera, and, at times, controlled Buru, East Ceram and many of the islands off the coast of New Guinea. [5] Tidore established an alliance with the Spanish in the sixteenth century, and Spain had several forts on the island. There was mutual distrust between the Tidorese and the Spaniards but for the Tidorese the Spanish presence was helpful in resisting the incursions of the Ternateans and their ally, the Dutch, who had a fort on Ternate. For the Spanish, backing the Tidore state helped check the expansion of Dutch power that threatened their nearby Asia-Pacific interests, provided a useful base right next to the centre of Dutch power in the region and was a source of spices for trade. [6]

Before the Spanish withdrawal from Tidore and Ternate in 1663, the Tidore sultanate, although nominally part of the Spanish East Indies, established itself as one of the strongest and most independent states in the region. After the Spanish withdrawal it continued to resist direct control by the Dutch East India Company (the VOC). Particularly under Sultan Saifuddin (r. 1657–1687), the Tidore court was skilled at using Dutch payment for spices for gifts to strengthen traditional ties with Tidore's traditional peripheral territories. As a result, he was widely respected by many local populations, and had little need to call on foreign military help for governing the kingdom, unlike Ternate which frequently relied upon Dutch military assistance. [7]

Tidore long remained an independent state, albeit with growing Dutch interference, until the late eighteenth century. Like Ternate, Tidore allowed the Dutch spice eradication program (extirpatie) to proceed in its territories. [8] This program, intended to strengthen the Dutch spice monopoly by limiting production to a few places, impoverished Tidore and weakened its control over its periphery.

In 1780 Tidore was forced to sign a treaty that reduced it to a Dutch vassal. The discontented Prince Nuku left Tidore and declared himself Sultan of the Papuan Islands. This was the beginning of a guerilla war which lasted for many years. [9] The Papuans, south-east Halmaherans and east Ceramese sided with the rebellious Prince Nuku. The British sponsored Nuku as part of their campaign against the Dutch in the Moluccas. Captain Thomas Forrest was intimately connected with Nuku and represented the British as ambassador. Nuku could finally take Tidore in 1797 and helped the British to conquer Ternate in 1801. [10] However, his successor Zainal Abidin was expelled by Dutch forces in 1806 and Tidore was firmly brought under colonial rule. [11]

The sultanate was abolished in the Sukarno era and re-established in 1999 with the 36th sultan. [3] Tidore was largely spared from the sectarian conflict of 1999 across the Maluku Islands. [3]


Tidore Island featured on the Indonesian 1,000-rupiah banknote Indonesia 2000 1000r r.jpg
Tidore Island featured on the Indonesian 1,000-rupiah banknote

The island, together with two smaller islands (Maitara and Mare) and an adjacent section (called "Oba") of Halmahera Island, constitutes a municipality (kotamadya) within the province of North Maluku. The municipality covers an area of 1,550.67 square kilometres (598.72 sq mi) and had a 2010 Census population of 90,055; the latest estimate (as at mid 2019) is 101,414. [12]

It is divided into eight districts (kecamatan), of which four constitute the island of Tidore (including the two small islands) and the other four constitute the Oba area on the 'mainland' of Halmahera. These are tabulated below with their areas (in sq km) and their populations at the 2010 Census, [13] together with the more recent official estimates (as at 2019). [14] The table also includes the number of administrative villages (desa and kelurahan) in each district and its post code.

NameEnglish nameArea
mid 2019
No. of
Tidore(Tidore town,
or Soasio)
Tidore Selatan [15] South Tidore42.4013,12913,277897821
Tidore Utara [16] North Tidore37.6414,57314,7711497823
Tidore TimurEast Tidore34.007,6578,545797822
(totals on Tidore Island)150.1253,83655,38342
Oba Utara [17] North Oba376.0013,33118,0411397827
Oba TengahCentral Oba424.007,65910,4961497826
Oba SelatanSouth Oba196.584,8925,602797825
(totals on Halmahera Island)1,400.2536,21946,03147


  1. Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2020.
  2. Kompas
  3. 1 2 3 Witton, Patrick (2003). Indonesia. Melbourne: Lonely Planet. pp. 827–828. ISBN   1-74059-154-2.
  4. Azra, Azyumardi (2006). Islam in the Indonesian World: An Account of Institutional Formation. Mizan Pustaka. pp. 39–40. ISBN   978-979-433-430-0.
  5. Leonard Andaya (1993) The world of Maluku. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, p. 99-110.
  6. Leonard Andaya (1993), p. 169-74.
  7. Leonard Andaya (1993), p. 190-2.
  8. Muridan Widjojo (2009) The revolt of Prince Nuku: Cross-cultural alliance-making in Maluku, c. 1780-1810. Leiden: Brill, p. 33-7.
  9. Muridan widjojo (2009), p. 55-8.
  10. Muridan Widjojo (2009), p. 75-88.
  11. Muridan Widjojo (2009), p. 88-94.
  12. Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2020.
  13. Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.
  14. Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2020.
  15. including Mare Island, to the south of Tidore
  16. including Maitara island, to the west of Tidore (and between Tidore and Ternate)
  17. includes the town of Sofifi, which since 2010 has been the provincial capital of North Maluku.

Related Research Articles

North Maluku Province of Indonesia

North Maluku is a province of Indonesia. It covers the northern part of the Maluku Islands, bordering the Pacific Ocean to the north, the Halmahera Sea to the east, the Molucca Sea to the west, and the Seram Sea to the south. The provincial capital is Sofifi on the largest island of Halmahera, while the largest city is the island city of Ternate. The population of North Maluku was 1,038,087 in the 2010 census, making it one of the least-populous provinces in Indonesia; at the latest estimate the population number had risen to 1,235,700.

Ternate City in North Maluku, Indonesia

Ternate is the largest city in the Indonesian province of North Maluku and an island in the Maluku Islands. It was the capital of the former Sultanate of Ternate and de facto provincial capital of North Maluku before Sofifi on the nearby coast of Halmahera became the capital in 2010. It is off the west coast of the much larger island of Halmahera. Ternate island itself has just over 200,000 inhabitants in an area of 101.49 km2; including nearby islands which form part of the city administratively, the city has a population of just under 220,000 on some 162.03 km2.

Sultanate of Tidore

Sultanate of Tidore was a sultanate in Southeast Asia, centered on Tidore in the Spice Islands. It was a rival of Sultanate of Ternate for control of the spice trade, and had an important historical role as binding the archipelagic civilizations of Indonesia to the Papuan world.

Ternate language language in North Maluku

Ternate or Ternatese is a North Halmahera language of eastern Indonesia. It is spoken on the island of Ternate, and some neighboring areas in North Maluku, including Halmahera, Hiri, Kayoa and the Bacan Islands. Historically, it served as the primary language of the Sultanate of Ternate, famous for its role in the spice trade. A North Halmahera language, it is unlike most languages of Indonesia which belong to the Austronesian language family.

Fort Tolukko

Fort Tolukko is a small fortification on the east coast of Ternate facing Halmahera. It was one of the colonial forts built to control the trade in clove spices, which prior to the eighteenth century were only found in the Maluku Islands. It has been variously occupied by the Portuguese, the native Ternate Sultanate, the Dutch, the British and the Spanish. It was abandoned as a fort in 1864, renovated in 1996, and is now a tourist attraction.

Nuku Rebellion

The Nuku Rebellion was an anti-colonial movement that engulfed large parts of Maluku Islands and Western New Guinea between 1780 and 1810. It was initiated by the prince and later sultan of Tidore. Nuku Muhammad Amiruddin (1738–1805), also known as Prince Nuku or Sultan Nuku. The movement united several ethnic groups of eastern Indonesia in the struggle against the Dutch and was temporarily successful, helped by an alliance with the English East India Company. After the demise of Nuku it was however defeated, and Maluku was restored under European rule. In modern time, Nuku was officially appointed a National Hero of Indonesia.

Sultan Hairun Jamilu was the 6th Muslim ruler of Ternate in Maluku, reigning from 1535 to 1570. During his long reign, he had a shifting relation to the Portuguese who had a stronghold in Ternate and tried to dominate the spice trade in the region. This ended with his assassination at the hands of a Portuguese soldier in 1570.

Boheyat was the third Sultan of Ternate in Maluku, whose largely nominal reign lasted from 1521 to 1529. In his time the Portuguese strengthened their positions in Ternate.

Sultan Saidi Berkat was the eighth Sultan of Ternate in the Maluku Islands. He succeeded to the extensive east Indonesian realm built up by his father Sultan Babullah, reigning from 1583 to 1606. The Spanish, who colonized the Philippines and had interests in Maluku, repeatedly tried to subdue Ternate, but were unsuccessful in their early attempts. Saidi's reign coincides with the arrival of the Dutch in Maluku, which indirectly caused his deposal and exile through a Spanish invasion.

Sultan Mudafar Syah I, also spelt Muzaffar Syah, was the ninth Sultan of Ternate who ruled from 1606 to 1627. He reigned during an important transitional phase, when the Dutch East India Company gained ascendency in the Maluku Islands and began to regulate the commerce in spices. This was the beginning of the colonial subordination of Maluku that would accelerate during his successors.

Sultan Mandar Syah was the 11th Sultan of Ternate who reigned from 1648 to 1675. Like his predecessors he was heavily dependent on the Dutch East India Company (VOC), and was forced to comply to Dutch demands to extirpate spice trees in his domains, ensuring Dutch monopoly of the profitable spice trade. On the other hand, the Ternate-VOC alliance led to a large increase of Ternatan territory in the war with Makassar in 1667.

Ciri Leliatu or Sultan Jamaluddin was the first Sultan of Tidore in Maluku Islands, who reigned at a time when Islam made advances in this part of Indonesia because of contacts brought about by the increased trade in spices. He is also sometimes credited with the first Tidorese contacts with the Papuan Islands.

Sultan Al-Mansur was the second Sultan of Tidore in Maluku islands, who reigned from at least 1512 until 1526. Certain legends associate him with the beginnings of Tidore's rule over the Papuan Islands and western New Guinea. During his reign the first visits by Portuguese and Spanish seafarers took place, which led to grave political and economic consequences for the societies of eastern Indonesia. Trying to preserve his realm in the face of Western encroachment, he finally fell victim to Portuguese enmity.

Mole Majimun was the seventh Sultan of Tidore in Maluku Islands, who reigned from 1599 to 1627. He was also known as Sultan Jumaldin or Kaicili Mole. In his time the transition to the hegemony of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) began in eastern Indonesia, though Tidore held on to its traditional alliance with the Spanish Empire.

Sultan Ngarolamo was the eighth Sultan of Tidore in Maluku Islands. He was also known as Sultan Alauddin or Kaicili Ngaro (Naro), ruling from 1627 to 1634. Due to a combination of factors he was deposed after a short reign and was eventually killed at the instigation of the Sultan of Ternate.

Sultan Gorontalo was the ninth Sultan of Tidore in Maluku Islands, ruling from 1634 to 1639. His brief reign was caught up in the tension between the Spanish Empire and the Dutch East India Company, leading to his violent death in 1639.

Sultan Saidi was the tenth Sultan of Tidore in Maluku islands. He was also known as Magiau and ruled from 1640 to 1657. His reign saw intermittent hostilities with Tidore's traditional rival, the Sultanate of Ternate, which included interference in an anti-Dutch rebellion in Ternate and Ambon and attempts to increase Tidorese territory in Maluku. By the time of Saidi's reign Tidore had gained a political position in parts of the Papuan territories.

Sultan Saifuddin, also known as Golofino was the eleventh Sultan of Tidore in Maluku islands. Reigning from 1657 to 1687, he left Tidore's old alliance with the Spanish Empire and made treaties with the Dutch East India Company (VOC), which now became hegemonic in Maluku for the next century. Tidore was forced to extirpate the clove trees in its territory and thus ceased to be a spice Sultanate. In spite of this, Saifuddin and his successors were able to preserve a degree of independence due to the trade in products from the Papuan Islands and New Guinea.

Nuku was the nineteenth Sultan of Tidore in Maluku Islands, reigning from 1797 to 1805. He is also known under the names Sultan Muhammad al-Mabus Amiruddin Syah, Saifuddin, Jou Barakati, and Kaicili Paparangan. He led a rebellion against Dutch colonialism in Maluku and Papua from 1780 which was eventually successful. Being a leader with great charisma, he gathered discontents from several ethnic groups and strove to restore Maluku to its pre-colonial division into four autonomous kingdoms. Nuku used global political conflict lines by allying with the British against the French-affiliated Dutch and helped them conquer the Dutch stronghold in Ternate in 1801. In modern Indonesia he is commemorated as a pahlawan nasional.

Sultan Zainal Abidin was the twentieth Sultan of Tidore in Maluku Islands. He inherited the anti-Dutch movement that had been built up by his brother Nuku, succeeding him as ruler in 1805. However, he was not capable of resisting renewed attacks by the Dutch colonial power and was forced to flee from Tidore Island in 1806. In the following years he tried using allied populations in Halmahera and Papua to fight the Dutch, with limited success, until his demise in 1810. He was the last independent Sultan of Tidore, since his successors were firmly under British or Dutch control.