A kilometre north of Taman Fatahillah, the old port of Sunda Kelapa still sees the magnificent Makassar schooners (pinisi). In some respects the dock scene here has barely changed for centuries, with porters unloading cargo from sailing ships by hand and trolley, though it’s far less busy today. The much more modern main harbour can also be seen in the distance from here. This entire area is rundown and its waters grotesquely polluted. The many tracts of landfill suggest that redevelopment may not be far off. Sunda Kelapa, better known as Pasar Ikan (meaning fish market) is located at the mouth of the Ciliwung River. The fish catch of the day was auctioned in the early morning at the old fish market. The street leading to it was lined with shops selling all sorts of shells, dehydrated turtles, lobsters and mostly everything the seafarer might need. This 500-year-old harbor area was a vital link to markets of the outside world for the 15th century kingdom of Pajajaran. It was formerly the harbor town of Sunda Kelapa where the Portuguese traded with the Hindu Kingdom of Pajajaran in the early 16th century. Since than this port has belonged to the portuguese and Dutch.
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