The Essential
In the 16C, production and trade of pepper turned the port of Banten, then a Muslim sultanate, into a renowned and thriving city whose influence reached as far as Europe. But the Dutch seized control in 1682, bringing an end to that golden age. All that remains of that time is the Mesjid Agung Demak, a mosque built in typical Javanese style with multiple roofs crowned by a beautiful white minaret, and the ruins of the Surosowan royal palace. As for the Speelwijk Fort (1682), built by the Dutch on the coast, it has been isolated by the sanding up of the area.