A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 783 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.

This city arrived at perfection in a short time, by the extraordinary diligence bestowed upon its construction, in spite of the many obstacles it met with from the two kings of Matarana and Bantam; the former of whom laid siege to it in 1629, and the latter in 1649.  It is surrounded by an earthen rampart of twenty-one feet thick, faced on the outside with stone, and strengthened by twenty-two bastions, the whole environed by a ditch forty-five yards wide, and quite full of water, especially in spring-tides.  All the approaches to the town are defended by several detached forts, all of which are well furnished with excellent brass cannon.  Six of these are so considerable as to deserve being particularly mentioned, which are, Ansiol, Anke, Jacatra, Ryswyk, Noordywyk, and Vythock.  The fort of Ansiol is seated on a river of the same name, to the eastwards, and about 1200 yards from the city, being built entirely of squared stone, and always provided with a strong garrison. Anke is on a river of the same name, to the westwards, about 500 yards from the city, and is built like the former. Jacatra lies also on a river of the same name, and is exactly like the two former, being 500 paces from the city.  The road to this fort lies between two regular rows of fine trees, having very fine country houses and gardens on each side.  The other three forts are all built of similar materials on the inland side of the city, and at small distances; the two first-named serving to secure the city on the side of the sea, and the other four to defend the approaches towards it from the land, and at the same time to protect the country houses, plantations, and gardens of the inhabitants.  By these, all enemies are prevented from coming upon the city by surprise, as on every side they would be sure to meet a formidable resistance; and besides, no person is allowed to pass the forts, even outwards, unless with a passport.

The river of Jacatra passes through the middle of the city, and supplies water to fifteen canals, all faced with freestone, and adorned on each side with ever-green trees, affording a charming prospect.  Over these canals, which are all within the city, there are fifty-six bridges, besides others without the town.  The streets are all perfectly straight, and are in general thirty feet broad on each side, besides the breadth of the canals.  The houses are built of stone, mostly of several stories high, like those in the cities of Holland.  The city of Batavia is about a league and a half in circuit, but is surrounded by a vast number of houses without the walls, which may be considered as forming suburbs, and in which there is ten times the population that is within the city.  It has five gates, including that leading to the port, near to which there is a boom, or barrier, which is shut every night at nine o’clock, and at which there is a strong guard of soldiers night and day.  There were formerly six gates, but one of these has since been walled

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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