East Flo­res

The East Flo­res re­gency is lo­cated at the very east­ern tip of Flo­res, to­gether with the is­lands of Adonara and Solor. It was es­tab­lished in 1958 with Laran­tuka as its cap­i­tal, known also as the City of 1000 Churches, Naples of the Ori­ent, Italy of Flo­res and Spain of the Lesser Sunda Is­lands. With a pop­u­la­tion of about 38,000 peo­ple, Laran­tuka is fa­mous for breath­tak­ing panora­mas and splen­did views as well as its friendly and out­go­ing peo­ple. Like the rest of Flo­res, the pop­u­la­tion is pre­dom­i­nantly Ro­man Catholic.

The city has a strong colo­nial Por­tuguese in­flu­ence as it was the Por­tuguese trad­ing cen­tre of South East In­done­sia and the cen­tre of san­dal­wood trad­ing. Dur­ing the Dutch oc­cu­pa­tion, many Por­tuguese traders moved to Laran­tuka. They took local spouses, and the new gen­er­a­tions called them­selves Topasses, or Laran­tuqueiros (in­hab­i­tants of Laran­tuka).

An im­por­tant time for re­li­gious cel­e­bra­tions in Laran­tuka is the “Holy Week”, which takes place one week be­fore Easter. The cel­e­bra­tion’s cen­ter stage is on two re­li­gious stat­ues, one of Je­sus Christ and one of Vir­gin Mary. Th­ese stat­ues were brought to Laran­tuka by Por­tuguese mis­sion­ar­ies Gas­par do Espírito Santo and Agostinho de Madalena in the 16th cen­tury. Th­ese stat­ues are only avail­able for pub­lic view­ing ev­ery Easter and re­main in the church’s safe­keep­ing for the rest of the year.

The near­est air­port to the city is the Ge­wayan­tana Air­port, lo­cated 15km away from Laran­tuka.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.