Category Archives: About Flores

Traditional Flores House that made UNESCO amazed

At August 27, 2012 the UNESCO announced the Award of Excellence, which is the highest award in the field of cultural heritage preservation, for a special kind of Indonesian houses. The award is given to conservation projects in the last ten years for buildings that have been outstanding for more than fifty years.

The houses only can be  found in the small village “Wae Rebo” which is located in the district Manggarai on Flores Island. The houses of the of Manggarai tribe are called “Mbaru Niang” and look like cones. Edited by koran arsitektur
Edited by koran arsitektur


United Nations which in charge of culture and science said that the provision Award of Excellece to Mbaru Niang is a new recognition of the architectural conservation.

This traditional house beat the 42 other candidates from 11 countries in Asia Pacific, including the historic irrigation systems in India, Zhizhusi complex in China, and Khilingrong mosque in Pakistan.

Wae Rebo can be regarded as a rare type. Not many cone houses are left in Flores.


In Wae Rebo there are four Mbaru Niang in similar size, except one house that serves as the main house and is larger sized where all custom meetings are held. Each house has six to eight families. In their history, once there were seven houses arranged in a semicircle.

In 2010, two aged cone houses have been demolished and rebuilt. In 2011, three cone houses were built, the villager have managed to restore back seven cone houses. All was done by local communities without outside interference. Originality and cultural richness of Wae Rebo are created without outside interference.
Edited by Koran Arsitektur


UNESCO also gave an award to the Foundation for Foster House, which was pioneered by the eminent architect Yori Antar from Jakarta. First time Yori and his colleagues visited the village in 2008, without knowing exactly where the village is located. Only by pictures on some postcards they asked people around to take them to the village.

With his efforts, finally he succeeded to lead the architectural project in Wae Rebo, utilizing local traditions and empower local people to rebuild the traditional house in the west of Flores.


An amazing view of Mount Kelimutu, Flores Island Indonesia.

Mount Kelimutu is a volcano located on the island of Flores. The mountain location was precisely in the Pemo Village, Flores Distric, Ende Regency. This mountain has three crater lakes on the top. The lake is known as the Kelimutu lake, or Three Colors Lake, because it has three different colors, that is red, blue, and white. However, the colors are always changing over time.


Lake in the volcanic craters of Kelimutu.
Source : Own work
Author : Serenade
Permission : GFDL


Kelimutu is a combination word of “keli” meaning mountain and “mutu” which means boiling. According to the local belief, each color of the lake in the mountain has own meaning and has a very tremendous natural power.

The scenery in the area was very breathtaking. Thick white fog that moves slowly cover the peak of Mount Kelimutu (approximately 1640 meters above the sea level) is one of the very typical sight with three colored lake on the summit of the mountain.

Lake Kelimutu is divided into three sections according to the colors that exist in the lake.Blue lake or “Nuwa Muri Koo Fai Tiwu” is a gathering place for the souls of young people who have died. The Red lake or “Tiwu Ata Polo” is a gathering place for the souls of the dead  which during their life were always committed crimes/witchcraft and the White lake or “Tiwu Mbupu Ata” is a gathering place for the souls of parents who have died.


Crater lakes of Kelimutu at Flores Island, Indonesia.
The picture was taken by Brocken Inaglory
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported


Initially Kelimutu lake is known to have three colors, red, white and blue. The lake which is now black, before 1970 the color was red, as seen at the value of 5000 rupiah (IDR), Indonesia banknote  (the old form).


Crater lakes of Kelimutu at Flores Island, Indonesia The insert shows a paper money with the picture of the lake. It used to be a different color. The picture was taken by Brocken Inaglory.
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported


To climb to the top of Mount Kelimutu should be done early in the morning at 03.00 pm, because at 10:00 pm usually the weather was misty.

Some people make assumption that discoloration of water in the lake due to Kelimutu volcano activity, refraction of light, the sun, microbiota of water and because of the reflection color from the walls and the bottom of the lake. Short explanation is the water color changes to blue and white (now green) because of changes in the chemical composition of the the crater water, the impact from the changes of volcanic gases, or it could be caused by rising temperatures.


Kelimutu crater lakes, Flores Island, Indonesia (2008)
Source : Kelimutu
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic


Kelimutu crater lake, Flores Island, Indonesia 2007
Author : Rosino
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic


The locals believe that changes of three color lake indicate to the natural phenomenon that will come, such as a volcano erupting, a landslide or other natural disasters.


Location of Mount Kelimutu, Flores Island, Indonesia

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