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Fort Margherita is a monument of great significance in Kuching.
Its history dates back to the Brooke Dynasty and was built in 1879 on a hilltop on the north bank opposite Kuching town by Sir Charles Brooke, the second Rajah of Sarawak.
The fort was named after his second wife Margaret de Windt, Ranee of Sarawak. Fort Margherita is designed in the style of an English castle.
Its original purpose was to protect Kuching from pirates attack. In 1971, the fort was re-purposed as a police museum before it was handed over to the Sarawak government.
In 2016, Fort Margherita was re-purposed and reopened as the Brooke Gallery which is a museum showcasing artefacts from the Brooke era as well as belongings from te Brooke family.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Since Fort Margherita has been re-purposed as the Brooke’s Gallery, it now showcase remnants and artifacts from the Brooke era.
Inside the gallery are irreplaceable historical documents, artifacts and arts from the White Rajah’s era, wrapped in steep history and preserved in time.
The gallery serves as the best place to learn about the formation of Sarawak during the Brooke era.
Visitors would learn the story of one of the most remarkable kingdoms in history: Sarawak and its ‘White Rajahs’, also known as the Brookes.
The Brookes forge a unique bond with its peoples and together they built the foundations of today’s Sarawak.
That said, the displays focus on the people, places and events that have shaped the Sarawak. These displays take visitors on a journey through a century of ‘White Rajah’ rule that began in September 1841, was shattered by the Japanese invasion of December 1941 and ended in July 1946 with Sarawak’s annexation as a British Crown Colony.
Also covered is the subsequent move towards political independence culminated in Sarawak’s part in forming the Federation of Malaysia in September 1963.
The showcases had been well praised by former visitors which regard the collection in the gallery as ‘fantastic’ and ‘complete’.
Aside from being a gallery, the fort also serves as an amazing point to view the modern side of Kuching which is just across the fort.
HOW TO GO TO FORT MARGHERITA
There’s three ways to get to Fort Margherita. Each has it’s pros and cons.
Method 1: By car
This is the easiest way to reach the fort, but it is also the most expensive. The ride alone can also be quite long due to traffic in Kuching. Directions to the fort can be seen below.
Method 2: By foot
Walking is good exercise, but you may sweat under the tropical weather of Kuching. If you reach the Kuching Waterfront, head straight to the Darul Hana Bridge and cross over to the other side. Upon reaching the other end, walk right towards the fort. Directions are clearly provided, so it’s impossible to miss.
Method 3: By boat
The third option is a great excuse to enjoy the traditional Pak Tambang boat ride available at the Kuching Waterfront. Just beside the Darul Hana Bridge, locate a small jetty which is used by the Pak Tambang boats. Get in the boat, and cross the river to Pengkalan Sapi. Pangkalan Sapi is just beside the Darul Hana Bridge. Before leaving the boat, drop RM1 as payment for the ride, and walk out. Turn right, and follow the directions to the fort.
I would strongly recommend walking to the fort, and returning from the fort in the Pak Tambang.
FORT MARGHERITA OPERATION HOURS
Fort Margherita opens from 9:00 AM – 4:45 PM daily.