Benteng Somba Opu

House at Benteng Somba Opu

The Citadel (Benteng) Somba Opu of the Sultan of Gowa was the Centre of 17th-Century Makassar. It is now an open-air museum spread over an extensive park, presenting South Sulawesi’s culture and history in a nutshell.

A good dozen imposing replicas of traditional palaces and houses of the various ethnic groups in South Sulawesi are spread over the park, providing a good impression of the particular stilt house architecture prevailing in Sulawesi. The partly restored remains of Makassar’s forgotten royal citadel can be seen at the southern border. Most impressive is the sea-wall with the remains of the Southwestern Bastion, Maccini Sombalaq, ‘Seeing Sails’, once overlooking the Mouth of the Jeneberang River.

A replica of the colonial-style palace of a local ruler houses a small museum. It exhibits a number of objects unearthed during the excavations in the fortress and the restoration of its walls. 

The Jeneberang river, flowing down from the mystical Mount Bawakaraeng, borders Benteng Somba Opu in the south, just some meters from the Museum. Its tranquil banks invite to enjoy the view to the river’s mouth into the Ocean a short distance to the west. 

Strolling around between the traditional houses and historic remains of the fort, you will meet with normal daily life of farmers and dwellers in this tropical setting. Huge buffaloes graze between coconut palms and meter-long lizards dashing away at your approach are not a rare site. 

Remains of the Southern Wall

Remains of the Southern Wall


It is easy to stroll around on fairly smooth paved roads. Entering traditional houses is only possible over their wooden stairs. We organise permission and assistance where needed.

For detailed information with photos about accessibility at Benteng Somba Opu contact us.

Jeneberang River

Jeneberang River