Flores Plus - - CONTENT -

The name Flo­res came from the Por­tuguese who landed on the is­land in the 16th cen­tury and named it “Cabo das Flo­res”, which means “Cape of Flow­ers”. The first Por­tuguese ex­plor­ers landed in Flo­res in the year 1511, mainly to Laran­tuka and Sikka in the quest to dom­i­nate the lu­cra­tive spice trade in Asia and to ex­tend their mis­sion­ary ef­forts.

The mis­sion­ar­ies also es­tab­lished the first Catholic school in Laran­tuka by the late 16th cen­tury and later on be­came an im­por­tant trade base. Flo­res – which it­self was nei­ther a source of pre­cious spices nor san­dal­wood – be­came an im­por­tant strate­gic point for the eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties of Por­tuguese traders un­til the Dutch traders in­ter­fered with the spice trade.

Fi­nally in 1769 the Por­tuguese were de­feated and they with­drew to Dili in East Ti­mor, and re­nounced their in­flu­ence in East­ern In­done­sia and sold their re­main­ing en­claves in Flo­res to the Dutch State. Ex­cept for a short pe­riod of Ja­panese oc­cu­pa­tion dur­ing World War II, the Dutch re­mained the dom­i­nat­ing colo­nial force un­til In­done­sia be­came an in­de­pen­dent na­tion state in 1949.

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