At one point, around 500 years ago, Banten was one of the greatest cities of Southeast Asia, with 1000 junks arriving from China every year to buy Bantenese pepper. The Sultan of Banten controlled most of the western end of Java and the southern tip of Sumatra too, giving him control over the strategic and valuable Sunda Strait. All that came to an end with the arrival of European explorers and colonizers. By the 17th century the Dutch had flattened most of Old Banten and established their own entrepot 80 kms away in Jakarta.
So much for the history. Today Banten is a sleepy fishing village and pilgrimage site with an enormous fort, a ruined palace, a beautiful mosque, a Chinese temple and some old tombs and cannons to show for its hundreds of years of history. The Great Mosque with its lighthouse style minaret is the single most impressive site though we also greatly enjoyed the fort. This part of Java is incredibly hot in the middle of the day, so try and make a trip out here early in the morning.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.