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Journey to the east of Flores Island Indonesia, you can visit the old church near Maumere. This old church is a popular tourist destination in Sikka village. There are also you can see some popular attractions around the old church. The Church is also known as the Church of Santo Ignatius Loyola (Gereja Santo Ignatius Loyola), precisely in Sikka Village, Lela District, Sikka Regency. This church was first used on December 24, 1899, and is now 124 years old. This church is a significant historical and cultural landmark that stands as a testament to the rich religious history and colonial past of the region.

Historical Significance

Built during the Dutch colonial era, the church is one of the oldest Catholic churches in the region. Its establishment marks the introduction of Christianity to the local population, facilitated by European missionaries. The church played a crucial role in the spread of Catholicism throughout Flores Island of Indonesia, a predominantly Catholic island today.

Architectural Features

This church, often referred to as the Church of the Santo Ignatius Loyola (Gereja Santo Ignatius Loyola) is renowned for its unique architectural style, which blends European colonial and local indigenous elements. The structure is characterized by its simple yet elegant design, with a prominent bell tower, traditional wooden carvings, and intricately designed stained glass windows depicting various biblical scenes and local cultural motifs. The use of locally sourced materials and traditional construction techniques highlights the fusion of European and local influences.

Cultural Importance

The church is not only a place of worship but also a cultural hub for the local community. It hosts various religious festivals, ceremonies, and community gatherings, making it an integral part of the social fabric of Lela village. The church’s presence reflects the deep-rooted faith and spiritual life of the local people, and it continues to be a focal point for cultural and religious activities.

Tourist Attraction

As a tourist destination, the old church on Sika attracts visitors interested in history, architecture, and culture. Its serene location, surrounded by lush greenery and picturesque landscapes, offers a peaceful retreat for tourists. Visitors can explore the church’s historic interior, admire the beautiful craftsmanship, and learn about the local history and traditions. The church is also often included in cultural tours of Flores Island, providing insights into the island’s colonial past and religious heritage.

In addition to the old Church of the Church of Santo Ignatius Loyola in Sika, the surrounding area near Lela and Maumere on Flores Island offers several other captivating tourist attractions. These sites, rich in cultural, historical, and natural beauty, provide a well-rounded travel experience for visitors.

Weaving Ikat Process

The traditional art of weaving ikat is one of the most significant cultural attractions in the area. Ikat is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that are distinctively vibrant and intricate. Visitors can witness the ikat weaving process in local villages around Lela, where skilled artisans, often women, demonstrate this meticulous craft. The process involves:

  1. Thread Preparation: Cotton threads are spun and then tied into bundles.
  2. Dyeing: The threads are dyed multiple times, with each part being tied off to prevent certain areas from absorbing dye, creating intricate patterns.
  3. Weaving: Once dyed, the threads are woven into fabrics on traditional looms, producing beautiful textiles that are often used for clothing, ceremonial purposes, and home decor.

Tourists can participate in workshops, learn about the cultural significance of the patterns, and purchase unique ikat products directly from the artisans, supporting the local economy and preserving this traditional craft.

Additional Tourist Attractions Near Sikka Village

  1. Nilo Hill: This hill offers a panoramic view of Maumere and the surrounding area, along with a large statue of the Virgin Mary, a popular pilgrimage site. The scenic spot is ideal for photography and enjoying the natural beauty of Flores Island.
  2. Blikon Blewut Museum: Located in Ledalero, near Maumere, this museum showcases a collection of local artifacts, fossils, and ethnographic items that provide insight into the history and culture of Flores Island. The museum is part of the Ledalero Seminary, one of the largest seminaries in Indonesia.
  3. Koka Beach: About an hour’s drive from Maumere, Koka Beach is a hidden gem known for its pristine white sand and turquoise waters. The beach is divided into two secluded coves by a rocky outcrop, offering a tranquil spot for relaxation, swimming, and enjoying the natural scenery.

Accessibility

The church is accessible from Maumere, the largest town on Flores Island, which is well-connected by road. Maumere itself is a gateway to many other attractions on Flores, including stunning beaches, diving spots, and natural wonders. A visit to the old church on Sika can be combined with exploring other nearby cultural and natural sites, making it a worthwhile addition to any itinerary.

Preservation Efforts

Efforts have been made to preserve the church’s historical and cultural value. Local authorities, along with religious organizations, are dedicated to maintaining the church’s structure and ensuring its legacy endures for future generations. Preservation projects often involve restoring architectural details and conserving the artworks and artifacts housed within the church.

In summary, the old church on Sika in Lela, near Maumere, is a treasured historical and cultural site on Flores Island. It offers visitors a glimpse into the island’s colonial history, architectural heritage, and the enduring faith of its people, making it a must-visit destination for those exploring the rich cultural tapestry of Flores Island, Indonesia.

 

 

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