Palopo is a city of some 152,000 inhabitants on the edge of the Gulf of Bone and at the foot of the Wallacea mountain ranges. With a view of the sea and the mountains and fresh air, Palopo's motto is "Bersih indah dan nyaman" ("Clean, beautiful and pleasant").
The city is also well-known in the area as the birthplace of one the world's longest literary works, La Galigo, the epic creation myth of the Bugis, a traditionally seafaring tribe native to South Sulawesi whose prowess as mariners, pirates, warriors and traders was feared and respected throughout Southeast Asia.
Palopo was formerly named Ware is known in La Galigo. The name "Palopo" is thought to have been in use since 1604, around the time when the Old Jami Mosque was constructed. The word "Palopo" is taken from two words in the Bugis-Luwu. The first denotes the sticky paste produced when brown sugar and water are mixed. The second means to insert pegs into a pole building. These two words explain the method of construction of the old mosque.
The tribes that inhabit the area include the Bugis, Javanese, and Coastal Konjo tribe and much smaller numbers of Minangkabau, Batak, and Malays. Palopo has a Muslim majority. Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism are embraced by much smaller communities.
- 1 Bua Airport (also known as Palopo Lagaligo Airport, LLO IATA). There are regular flights to and from the provincial capital Makassar.
The largest and most famous mosque in Palopo is the Great Mosque (Mesjid Agung), which can be seen from as far as Golf Gaspa. Famous churches for Protestants include Maranatha Church Pattene on Jl. Veteran, the Assemblies of God Church (Church of the Assemblies of God Jemmaat) on Jl. Pongsimpin, and the Pniel Church around Gaspa Field, which is the most famous. There is a Catholic Church around the Morning Market.
There is a local market worth visiting if you are in town.
The Bugis are famous throughout Indonesia and beyond for their food, especially their fish and seafood dishes.