The East Flores regency is located at the very eastern tip of Flores, together with the islands of Adonara and Solor. It was established in 1958 with Larantuka as its capital, known also as the City of 1000 Churches, Naples of the Orient, Italy of Flores and Spain of the Lesser Sunda Islands. With a population of about 38,000 people, Larantuka is famous for breathtaking panoramas and splendid views as well as its friendly and outgoing people. Like the rest of Flores, the population is predominantly Roman Catholic.
The city has a strong colonial Portuguese influence as it was the Portuguese trading centre of South East Indonesia and the centre of sandalwood trading. During the Dutch occupation, many Portuguese traders moved to Larantuka. They took local spouses, and the new generations called themselves Topasses, or Larantuqueiros (inhabitants of Larantuka).
An important time for religious celebrations in Larantuka is the “Holy Week”, which takes place one week before Easter. The celebration’s center stage is on two religious statues, one of Jesus Christ and one of Virgin Mary. These statues were brought to Larantuka by Portuguese missionaries Gaspar do Espírito Santo and Agostinho de Madalena in the 16th century. These statues are only available for public viewing every Easter and remain in the church’s safekeeping for the rest of the year.
The nearest airport to the city is the Gewayantana Airport, located 15km away from Larantuka.
District & Places to Visit – Flores Plus Magazine
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Flores Plus Magazine provides relevant information on the various districts that make up Flores Island, from west to east including Ende, Kupang, Larantuka, Manggarai, Ngada and Nagekeo, Sikka and Manggarai, where Labuan Bajo is located, the gateway to the Komodo National Park. Flores Plus is part of the PT. Trijaya Dewata family, a premier publishing and media brand in Bali and across Indonesia. Established in 1996, it has decades of experience with multiple titles in three languages published over the years. With the launch of Flores Plus, the company now will lead the way as one of the pioneers of tourist media in Flores, Komodo and the Komodo National Park. Available now in English and soon in Japanese, Flores Plus Magazine has a strong online presence and engagement via its website, daily e-newsletters and social media platforms which are updated daily.