Sites & cities that bear the name of Bandar Seri Begawan

Bandar Seri Begawan

Today in : Brunei Darussalam
First trace of activity : ca. 6th century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : بندر بروني, Brunei Town, بندر سري بڬاوان, Bandar Brunei

Description : Bandar Seri Begawan (Jawi: بندر سري بڬاوان) (formerly known as Brunei Town; Malay: بندر بروني) is the capital and largest city of Brunei. It is officially governed as a municipality (Malay: bandaran). Bandar Seri Begawan has an estimated population of 100,700, and including the whole Brunei-Muara District, the metro area has an estimated population of 279,924, over half the population of the country. Human settlement in Brunei can be traced back to the 6th and 7th century with a Malay trading centre and fishing port near the current site of the city. The first settlement on the banks of the Brunei River can be traced to the 8th century where there had been settlements similar to those in Kampong Ayer, near the present site of the Brunei Museum with the modern city on the opposite shore. During the Bruneian Empire period from 15th–17th century, the Sultanate ruled much part of Borneo including the southern part of the Philippines and its capital of Manila, with the water settlement near the city area became the third centre of the administration (after moving twice from Kota Batu and Kampong Ayer). When the Sultanate rule declined through the 18th century due to the arrival of Western powers such as the Spanish, Dutch, and the British, the settlement population decreased from its peak of 20,000 inhabitants. From 1888 until its independence in 1984, Brunei was a British protectorate and land development began in 1906 when the British resident encouraged the Sultanate citizens to move onto reclaimed land on the western bank of the inlet. In 1899, first oil well was drilled at Ayer Bekunchi near Kampung Kasat, Bandar Seri Begawan. Although the well was drilled to a depth of 259 metres (850 feet), no oil was found. Oil exploration in Brunei later shifted to Seria and Belait District in 1924. Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam II established a new palace on the west bank in 1909 after being persuaded by the British, along with the arrival of Chinese traders to boost the economy. A mosque and government buildings were built along the western shores in 1920. In the same year, the new settlement was declared the new capital of Brunei and became a municipal area.

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