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Moluccas Islands - Islands Of Spices

Updated on March 12, 2011

Moluccas Islands are really beautiful and amazing place located on the border between the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. Many centuries the island were attractive place for many European traders and during the medieval era were known as the Spice Islands. The fabulous wealth of the islands acted like a magnet for many traders, sailors and monarchs.

The beautiful MoluccasIslands are part of the Malay Archipelago. They are located really close to the equator, near the islands of New Guinea. The origin of the islands is volcanic and you can still see several active volcanoes there. It is believed that the islands are formed between 1 and 5 millions years ago, which makes them relatively young islands. The interesting fact about the islands is that they were never been part of any large continent. The distance between the islands is pretty big and among them you can see many beautiful coral reefs surrounded by some of the deepest waters in the world.

The total number of MoluccasIslands is around 1000. Some of the largest of them are Seram, Halmehera, Buru, Ternate, Abdon and Tidore. The climate is really hot and wet which should not surprise you because of the close location of the islands to the equator. On the islands live more than 2 million people and the main religion is Islam, because during the 14th century the Arab traders began to impose Islam and most of the local people adopt the religion smoothly and peacefully.

The history of the MoluccasIslands is very colorful and interesting. According to the archaeologists, people were living on these places before more than 32,000 years ago, but it is believed that the islands were inhabited, and in earlier periods. The islands were ruled by Arab and Chinese traders and later they were colonized by Netherlands and Portugal. During World War II they were occupied by Japan. After the independence of Indonesia the islands are part of the territory of the new country.

The islands are really beautiful. The evergreen plants and the astonishing animal world can make you feel like you are in paradise. As you already know, they are perfect place for growing of many different spices like nutmeg, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, cumin and other valuable and rare spices. Many centuries the spices were priceless commodity, even more precious than the gold. There was a time when BandaIsland was the only producer of nutmeg in the world.

In the early 17th century Netherlands conquer the MoluccasIslands and regain control over the spice trade. In order to improve their monopoly the Dutch furiously guarded the access to the island. These measures were taken in order to prevent the stealing of nutmeg and clove seed. All thefts of seeds were punished with death. The money was really big and the world dominance was put on the map.

There are many places and beautiful beaches which you can visit and see during your vacation in some of the MoluccasIslands. Just check around internet for some great travel deals and the beautiful beaches, unlimited water sport attractions and the interesting local culture and food will make your vacation really memorable.


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  • Silver Fish profile image

    Silver Fish 6 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

    Thank you for this lovely hub. I was lucky enough to visit these beautiful islands a few years ago.

    A paradise on earth.