Flores ( Portuguese for " flowers ", also Floris; indonesian Pulau Flores - Flores Island ) is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands.

The island is 15,175 km ² and has about one million inhabitants. Flores is part of the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara. Approximately 91 % of the population are Christians, though population of Flores is by Portuguese missionaries in the 16th century, unlike the rest of Indonesia, almost exclusively Catholic.

  • 2.1 Prehistory and Early History
  • 2.2 Recent History


Flores is 354 km long. At its widest point, extending in the east-west direction island measures 63 km.

West of Flores are the small islands of Rinca and Komodo and the larger Sumbawa, Sumba and the Savu Sea to the south. To the east are the islands Adonara and Solor, in southeastern Timor, north of the Floressee with Sulawesi. About 18 miles off the northern coast lies the volcanic island Palu'e.

The end of the city of 60,000 inhabitants located on the south coast and is the main ferry port towards Timor Barat (West Timor). A small airport is a few kilometers outside of the city available. east end of the north coast is Maumere, the capital of the island, in the district of Sikka with 70,000 inhabitants. Here is the largest airport of Flores. Capital of East Flores is Larantuka.


On the coast of Flores is dominated by lowland with sparse rain forest and savanna, while in the interior rises a highland with some still active volcanoes up to 2382 m. The most famous volcano is 1639 m high Gunung Kelimutu. His three separate only by high walls crater lakes change at irregular intervals the colors. Currently ( November 2006) the lakes are lit in the colors green, brown and black, 1986, the colors turquoise, dark green and black red. What causes the color change is not yet clear exactly seem phased changes the minerals submitting the crater floors.

The west coast of Flores is one of the few places outside the island of Komodo, where the Komodo dragon appears. Office of the managing authority for the " Waraninseln " Komodo and Rinca is also the Labuan Bajo lying on the west coast.

Administrative divisions

The island is divided into eight administrative districts ( kabupaten ) divided: from West to East: Westmanggarai, Manggarai, Ostmanggarai, Ngada, Nagekeo, end, Sikka and Ostflores.


Prehistory and Early History

Like many other Sunda Islands was already by the early representatives of the Hominini also Flores - probably from Homo erectus - populated; this speak more than a million years old stone tools that were found in the Soa Basin. In September 2003, anthropologists discovered in a karst cave called Liang Bua, a 18,000 years old skeleton, the first fossil record of Homo floresiensis, which is also known as " Hobbit ".

Recent History

Flores was one of the 13th century, possibly to the kingdom of Majapahit, after the Principality of Makassar.

1544 sighted a Portuguese merchant ship the eastern cape of the island and christened it " Cabo of Flores " ( Cape of Flowers ). To 1570 the first European sailors and merchants settled on the island and christened the island " Flores ", although here no more flowers grew as in other parts of Indonesia.

Shortly before 1600 left Portuguese merchants Solor and settled in Larantuka. The merchants had quarreled with the Dominicans in Solor, because they refused to be harnessed to the local Christianization. 1613 the Dutch conquered the Portuguese fort on Solor. The Portuguese shifted their base to Larantuka, east of Flores. From Larantuka from the Topasse controlled from the trade network in the region, especially the lucrative Sandelholzhandel of Timor. The Topasse were descendants of the Portuguese soldiers, sailors and merchants, the women of Solor and Flores were married. The Larantuqueiros how the Topasses called himself, had developed into its own relatively loose, but powerful state sticking its influence on the settlements beyond. The core cell formed the " triple alliance " Larantuka, Wureh and Konga. Theoretically, they were under while Portugal, was practically this state structure but independent. There were no Portuguese officials and no taxes were paid. Letters from the government in Lisbon were ignored. In Larantuka there was a years of bloody power struggle between the families da Costa and since Hornay who eventually shared the power.

As of 1667, the Netherlands Flores occupied by little. The last remnants of the Portuguese colony in the east of the island, such as Larantuka, took the Netherlands in 1861 in possession. 1851 sold the Portuguese governor José Joaquim Lopes de Lima, without authorization from Lisbon, several areas in the Lesser Sunda Islands, which were under Portuguese suzerainty, for 200,000 florins to the Netherlands. Lisbon did not recognize the sale and let Lopes arrest. He died on the return trip to Europe. In 1854, the agreements were renegotiated. The Treaty of Lisbon, the sale was finally confirmed. The ratification took place in 1859. According to the contract, the population was able to keep their Catholic faith. Until the independence of Indonesia Flores was part of the Dutch East Indies, but which has been repeatedly shaken by rebellions. In the years 1911 and 1912 alone, there were ten armed rebellions against the Dutch.

The nationalist and later Indonesian President Sukarno was exiled in 1933 by the Dutch after the call on Flores. During World War II the island from 1942 to 1945 was occupied by Japan.


The population Flores as the southeast neighboring island of Timor mostly Roman Catholic faith. To the west bearing, predominantly Muslim island of Sumbawa is a religion limit within Indonesia.


The districts Manggarai, Ngada, end and Sikka are named after four famous ethnicities: Manggarai, Ngada, end and Sica. There are other ethnic and language groups like the Lamaholot in the east (Flores Timur ) and in between a plethora of small groups with different dialects. The major ethnic groups have formed regional cultural differences. Until the colonial period, the island was divided into small kingdoms, whose rulers had received from the Dutch part of the title of Raja, but not necessarily ruled over a unified society. According fragmented is the traditional music on Flores, which is why Jaap Kunst, in 1930 there did field research, the island called a musikologisches paradise. In the west and central part of the musical tradition of three -and four- part songs, some accompanied by drums and gongs. As elsewhere on the islands are known ostindonesischen bamboo zithers (see Sasando on Roti ) and bamboo Drum ( toda ). The indirect blown bass flute foimere is unique. Songs are sung at harvest, as dance accompaniment and as dirges. In the eastern part which is the only stringed instrument stringed stringed lute the robeke or mbeka before (name derived from the European lute Rebec ) as a simple xylophone. Nocturnal chants are often presented in Pantun - meter. In some coastal regions, the melodies have survived from the Portuguese folk songs from the 17th century, which have long since disappeared in the country of origin.


Besides rice and corn, coffee, cocoa, and sugar cane are grown Casava.