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Villa Yuliana Museum Soppeng Icon, Formerly the Residence of Dutch Officials

Soppeng

The Vila Yuliana Museum was built in the Dutch era. It was a gift to the Queen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Marie van Orange-Nassau and her daughter, Queen Juliana but it never materialized.

Villa Yuliana is located in Soppeng Regency, South Sulawesi (South Sulawesi). Now, the age of the building has reached 117 years.

The building is striking. So, It’s not difficult to find Vila Yulliana when a traveler is in Soppeng, to be precise in the Botto area, Lalabata District.

This villa was built in 1905 by the Dutch East Indies government under Mr CA Kroesen as a gift for the Queen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Marie van Orange-Nassau and her daughter, Queen Juliana, who at that time planned to visit Bugis land in Soppeng.

As soon as this villa was finished and ready for occupancy, Queen Wilhelmina and Queen Juliana even canceled their visit to Soppeng because of the security factor of the war at that time. They have never received a gift which is still standing firmly on Earth Latemmamala, the nickname for Soppeng Regency.

Although the queen has never felt the sleep of her villa, residents still call it Villa Yuliana, which refers to the name of Queen Juliana.

Now, the building, which was built in the Indische architectural style, which is a blend of European style and local Bugis style, has been converted into a museum and landmark of Bumi Latemmamala.

Villa Yuliana or Mess Tinggi Soppeng (Arnis Taher/d’Traveler)

Villa Yuliana Witness History

Villa Yuliana was built in a strategic location, namely at the top of the hills on Jalan Pengayoman Watansoppeng. Yuliana’s villa is close to the office of the Soppeng Regent.

The villa is on a hillside, near a Grand Darussalam mosque and a bat garden.

The caretaker of Vila Yuliana, Mustafa said the villa was initially prepared for accommodation for the queen during her visit to South Sulawesi. Although the queen of the Netherlands never used this villa, this villa was used as the official residence of Dutch officials.

“From 1957-1992 Villa Yuliana has never been occupied. It was only in 1992-1995 that it was used as a lodging house for young officers from the local government, police and other high-ranking officials,” Mustafa told detik.com.

Villa Yuliana in Soppeng Regency, South Sulawesi (South Sulawesi).  (Mono/detikcom)Villa Yuliana in Soppeng Regency, South Sulawesi (South Sulawesi). (Mono/detikcom)

Mustafa, who has been in charge of guarding the museum for eight years, said Vila Yuliana was also seen as a symbol of the transfer of power from the Soppeng Kingdom to the Dutch colonial government.

“Kingdom of Soppeng is considered as one of the local kingdoms in South Sulawesi which has agreed to sign an agreement for delivery power to the Dutch Colonial Government (Korte Veklaring). Then, in 1908, the regional governments of all the kingdoms in South Sulawesi were integrated into the Dutch Colonial Government,” said Mustafa.

Even though it is more than a century old, Villa Yuliana has never been completely renovated except for the roof which has been replaced with asbestos. Over time, the roof returned to using the shingle roof as before.

“We ordered the shingle roof specifically in Kalimantan. The material is made of screw wood. And it takes a long time to order,” he said.

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