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City of Tidore Islands
Kota Tidore Kepulauan
Tidore Island Indonesia Daytime.jpg
Tidore Island, as seen from Ternate Island.
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Lambang Kota Tidore Kepulauan.png
Toma Loa Se Banari
ID Tidore.PNG
Location within Maluku Islands
Indonesia Maluku location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in Maluku, Halmahera and Indonesia
Location map Halmahera.png
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Tidore (Halmahera)
Indonesia location map.svg
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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.svg  North Maluku
  MayorAli Ibrahim
  Vice MayorMuhammad Senin
   City 1,550.37 km2 (598.60 sq mi)
150.12 km2 (57.96 sq mi)
 (2020 Census)
   City 114,480
  Density74/km2 (190/sq mi)
  Metro density430/km2 (1,100/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, lit. "City of Tidore Islands") is a city, island, and archipelago in the Maluku Islands of eastern Indonesia, west of the larger island of Halmahera. Part of North Maluku Province, the city includes the island of Tidore (and smaller outlying islands) together with a large part of Halmahera Island to its east. 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 90,530; the 2020 Census produced a total of 114,480. [1]

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 [12] and the 2020 Census. [1] The table also includes the number of administrative villages (desa and kelurahan) in each district and its post code.

NameEnglish nameArea
No. of
Tidore(Tidore town,
or Soasio)
Tidore Selatan (a)South Tidore42.4013,12914,671897821
Tidore Utara (b)North Tidore37.6414,57317,2941497823
Tidore TimurEast Tidore34.007,6579,608797822
(totals on
Tidore Island
Oba Utara (c)North Oba376.0013,33119,5521397827
Oba TengahCentral Oba424.007,65910,0961497826
Oba SelatanSouth Oba196.584,8926,656797825
(totals on
Halmahera Island

Notes: (a) including Mare Island, to the south of Tidore. (b) including Maitara island, to the northwest of Tidore (and between Tidore and Ternate).
(c) including the town of Sofifi, which since 2010 has been the provincial capital of North Maluku.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Maluku Islands</span> Archipelago in eastern Indonesia, also called the Spice Islands

The Maluku Islands or the Moluccas are an archipelago in the east of Indonesia. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone. Geographically they are located east of Sulawesi, west of New Guinea, and north and east of Timor. Lying within Wallacea, the Maluku Islands have been considered as a geographical and cultural intersection of Asia and Oceania.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">North Maluku</span> 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, but by the 2020 Census the population had risen to 1,282,937, and the official estimate as at mid 2021 was 1,299,177.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sultanate of Ternate</span> Sultanate

The Sultanate of Ternate, previously also known as the Kingdom of Gapi is one of the oldest Muslim kingdoms in Indonesia besides Tidore, Jailolo, and Bacan. The Ternate kingdom was established by Momole Cico, the first leader of Ternate, with the title Baab Mashur Malamo, traditionally in 1257. It reached its Golden Age during the reign of Sultan Baabullah (1570–1583) and encompassed most of the eastern part of Indonesia and a part of southern Philippines. Ternate was a major producer of cloves and a regional power from the 15th to 17th centuries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sultanate of Tidore</span>

The Sultanate of Tidore was a sultanate in Southeast Asia, centered on Tidore in the Maluku Islands. It was also known as Duko, its ruler carrying the title Kië ma-kolano. Tidore was a rival of the 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. According to extant historical records, in particular the genealogies of the kings of Ternate and Tidore, the inaugural Tidorese king was Sahjati or Muhammad Naqil whose enthronement is dated 1081 in local tradition. However, the accuracy of the tradition that Tidore emerged as a polity as early as the 11th century is considered debatable. Islam was only made the official state religion in the late 15th century through the ninth King of Tidore, Sultan Jamaluddin. He was influenced by the preachings of Syekh Mansur, originally from Arabia. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the sultans tended to ally with either Spain or Portugal in order to maintain their political role, but were finally drawn into the Dutch sphere of power in 1663. In spite of a period of anti-colonial rebellion in 1780-1810, the Dutch grip on the sultanate increased until decolonization in the 1940s. Meanwhile, Tidore's suzerainty over Raja Ampat and western Papua was acknowledged by the colonial state. In modern time, the sultanate has been revived as a cultural institution.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sultanate of Bacan</span>

The Sultanate of Bacan was a state in Maluku Islands, present-day Indonesia that arose with the expansion of the spice trade in late medieval times. It mainly consisted of the Bacan Islands but had periodical influence in Ceram and the Papuan Islands. It fell under the colonial influence of Portugal in the 16th century and the Dutch East India Company (VOC) after 1609. Bacan was one of the four kingdoms of Maluku together with Ternate, Tidore and Jailolo, but tended to be overshadowed by Ternate. After the independence of Indonesia in 1949, the governing functions of the sultan were gradually replaced by a modern administrative structure. However, the sultanate has been revived as a cultural entity in present times.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fort Tolukko</span> Building in Ternate, Indonesia

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nuku Rebellion</span>

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, 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hairun</span> Sultan of Ternate

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saidi Berkat</span> Sultan of 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. During the Great Ambon War in the 1650s, Mandar Syah sided with the VOC but was nevertheless pushed to cede control over areas in Central Maluku. 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 (Ciriliyati) 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 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saifuddin of Tidore</span> Sultan of Tidore

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(Prince of Battles). He led a resistance 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sultanate of Jailolo</span>

The Sultanate of Jailolo was a premodern state in Maluku, modern Indonesia that emerged with the increasing trade in cloves in the Middle Ages. Also spelt Gilolo, it was one of the four kingdoms of Maluku together with Ternate, Tidore, and Bacan, having its center at a bay on the west side of Halmahera. Jailolo existed as an independent kingdom until 1551 and had separate rulers for periods after that date. A revivalist Raja Jailolo movement made for much social and political unrest in Maluku in the 19th century. In modern times the sultanate has been revived as a symbolic entity.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ternatean–Portuguese conflicts</span> Colonial war in the Spice Islands

The Ternatean–Portuguese conflicts were a series of conflicts in the Spice Islands in eastern Indonesia between the Portuguese and their allies on one hand, and the Sultanate of Ternate and its allies, on the other. Hostilities broke out from time to time after the establishment of Portugal in Moluccas in 1522. The strongly Catholic and Muslim identities of the combatants gave the struggle elements of a war of religion, although this aspect was frequently blurred by cross-faith alliances. It was also an economic war since the Portuguese aim was to control export of the profitable trade in cloves. Portuguese-Ternatan rivalry later merged with attempts of expansion by the Spanish in the Philippines. The Portuguese were eventually defeated in 1605 by an alliance between the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and Ternate, ending their active involvement in Moluccas affairs. However, they were soon replaced by the Spanish who maintained an Iberian presence in the region up to 1663.


  1. 1 2 3 Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2021.
  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. Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.