The Treaty of Alliance Luso – Sundanese is a treaty signed in 1522 to Kalapa (in the north of the present Jakarta , capital of Indonesia ), between the Portuguese from Malacca and the Kingdom Hindu Sundanese of Pajajaran .

The context of this treaty is, on the one hand, the ambition of Portugal to control the production and trade of spices, on the other hand, Pajajaran’s concern at the expansion of the Muslim kingdom of Demak .

Demak was founded at the end of the xv th century on the north coast of Java, the Pasisir , a Chinese Muslim named Cek Ko-po. This region has always been open to the outside world. Its control makes it possible to control the Java trade, exporting rice to the rest of the archipelago, thus to dominate the island.

The successor of Cek Ko-po, Trenggana, therefore begins the expansion of the kingdom to the east and west of Pasisir. Demak thus takes Cirebon , already Muslim, under his protection, threatening the ports of Pajajaran.

The Portuguese arrive in the region in 1511 . They take the city of Malacca on the Malay Peninsula , and are now seeking to establish themselves on the north coast of Java.

It is in this context that we must understand the signing, between King Sanghyang (“Samiam”) and the Portuguese of Malacca, of a treaty of alliance and cooperation. This treaty gave the Portuguese access to a port allowing them to centralize their commercial activities in the Indonesian archipelago, which included the pepper and indigo of West Java, cloves of the Moluccas and precious woods. and camphor from Sumatra .

The same year, Juan Sebastián Elcano completed the circumnavigation journey undertaken by Fernand de Magellan , killed in 1521 in the Mactan islet in the Philippines .

The commander of the fortress of Malacca at the time was Jorge de Albuquerque , brother of Afonso . He sends a ship, the Sao Sebastiao, under the command of Captain Federico de Leme , to Kalapa with many gifts for the sovereign of Pajajaran. The Portuguese are warmly welcomed by King Surawisesa , who bears the title of “Samiam” ( Sang Hyang ). By the treaty that is signed, Pajajaran authorizes the Portuguese to build a fort at the mouth of the Ciliwung River . The Sundanese also pledge to hand over a thousand bags of pepper (more than 20 tons) each year to the Portuguese.

The treaty was signed on August 21, 1522. To commemorate it, the Portuguese erected a padrão (stone post surmounted by a cross or Portuguese coat of arms), now on display at the National Museum of Jakarta .

Due to unrest in their Goa colony in India, the Portuguese can not keep their commitments to return the next year for the construction of the fort. They return only in November 1526, with six ships under the command of Francisco da Sa.

The Portuguese presence in Java will end in 1527 with the capture of their fort by a prince of Banten , Fatahillah , who will rename the city ” Jayakarta “, “victorious act”.


  • Barros, J. of Da Asia , 1777-78
  • Lombard, Denys, The Javanese Crossroads
  • Ricklefs, MC, A History of Modern Indonesia since c. 1300
  • Sukanda-Tessier, Viviane, Let’s speak Sundanese , L’Harmattan, 2007