Jakarta's Historical Buildings II, Jakarta

Jakarta's Historical Buildings II (Self Guided), Jakarta

The tour continues with the neo-gothic Catholic church - Gereja Immanuel that will impress you with its architectural features and that represents a reminder of Jakarta's past. Don't pass by some of the most important historic attractions in Jakarta, mostly located on Merdeka Square - one of the largest urban plazas in the world. The National Museum of Jakarta is also a great way to discover its past and important historic events.
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Jakarta's Historical Buildings II Map

Guide Name: Jakarta's Historical Buildings II
Guide Location: Indonesia » Jakarta (See other walking tours in Jakarta)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: jenny
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • National Museum
  • Arjuna Wijaya Statue
  • Prince Diponegoro Statue
  • Monas (National Monument)
  • Lapangan Merdeka (Freedom Square)
  • Gereja Immanuel (Immanuel Church)
National Museum

1) National Museum (must see)

The National Museum of Indonesia, also known to tourists as the Gedung Gajah (Elephant Building) because of the elephant statues in the front yard, hosts the finest historical, archeological, numismatic, ethnological and geographical exhibits from Indonesia and some of the completest collections from South Asia. The Museum boasts about 61,500 anthropological and prehistoric exhibits and over 5,000 archeological exhibits. The artifacts are mostly gathered from Indonesia, but other Asian countries are represented through rare objects too.

Among the highly valued collections one must notice the ceramic collection (with Indonesian exhibits as well as rare Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese artifacts), the stone sculpture collection (with exhibits dating back from prehistoric period), the treasure rooms (featuring ancient gold and silver objects), the prehistory collection (exploring the beginnings of the Indonesian people), the historical relics collection (containing objects – mainly furniture – from the Dutch colonization period) and the ethnography collection. Other collections include numismatics, textile and bronze items.

Recently, the 1868 building proved too small for all the precious artifacts, and a new wing has been built following the original architecture. The new wing features seven levels with only four hosting permanent exhibits. The four levels are structured on themes (man and environment; knowledge, technology and economy; social organization and settlement patterns, and treasures and ceramics).

Operation hours: Tuesday - Friday: 8 am - 4 pm; Saturday - Sunday: 8:30 am - 5 pm
Arjuna Wijaya Statue

2) Arjuna Wijaya Statue

The Arjuna Wijaya Statue is another monument in Freedom Square, located in the southwest corner of the plaza. It represents the archer, one of the Five Pandava brothers, a legendary figure in Indonesia. He is depicted with a bow and an arrow riding a galloping horse. Some believe this statue symbolizes an open door to the spiritual world.
Prince Diponegoro Statue

3) Prince Diponegoro Statue

Located in Freedom Square, the Prince Diponegoro Statue was created by Italian sculptor Colbertado, and dedicated to the prince's struggle for Javanese freedom from the Dutch during the 19th Century. A source of pride to the whole Indonesian nation, this remarkable statue was presented to the state in 1965.
Monas (National Monument)

4) Monas (National Monument) (must see)

Designed by architects Frederich Silaban (the same architect who designed Istiqlal Mosque) and R.M. Soedarsono and built during the first Indonesian president, Sukarno, the Monas or National Monument is meant to commemorate the Indonesian people who fought for the national independence. The monument encapsulates Indonesian symbols such as the rice pestle (the upper part of the monument) and the mortar (the lower part of the monument), the numbers 17, 8 and 45 (August 17th, 1945 – the date when Indonesia’s Independence was proclaimed) and a gold plated flame called the Independence Flame, a pledge that the country will always remain an independent territory.

The monument measures 132 meters in height and features a larger part at the bottom (interpreted as the mortar or the yoni – female reproductive organs) and a high upper part (representing the pestle or the lingga – the phallus). In traditional beliefs, the monument is also a sign of people’s fertility and its power of surviving throughout the time.

The lower part hosts a History Museum where tourists can admire sequences of Indonesia’s history, starting with prehistory and ending with the declaration of Independence; there is also an Independence Hall where a copy of the Proclamation of Indonesia’s Independence is displayed.

The top part offers tourists a panoramic view over Jakarta. In sunny days, the ocean and Salak Mountain can be admired from the Observation Platform located on top of the monument, near the gold plated flame.
Lapangan Merdeka (Freedom Square)

5) Lapangan Merdeka (Freedom Square) (must see)

Lapangan Merdeka or Freedom Square is the largest and most popular square in Jakarta. Placed in central Jakarta, the Merdeka Square measures one square kilometer and it is divided into four major areas corresponding to the four cardinal points. Thus, Taman Medan Merdeka Utara is located in the North and features a bust of Chairil Anwar (local poet) and an equestrian statue of Diponegoro (Javanese prince who opposed Dutch colonization). The Taman Medan Merdeka Timur is located in the East and features a statue of Kartini (Indonesian heroine) and a reflecting pond. On the South there is the Taman Medan Merdeka Selatan where tourists can admire a spotted deer park and a plant collection representing 33 Indonesian provinces. The parking lots and food stalls are concentrated here, too. Last but not least, the Taman Medan Merdeka Barat is located on the Western part and features the famous musical fountain. Magical shows are held here every night during the weekends, when the fountain is illuminated.

In the center of Lapangan Merdeka stands the National Monument, while numerous other touristic and administrative buildings trim the square. Merdeka Palace, Istiqlal Mosque and the National Museum of Indonesia are only few of the buildings with important touristic value located near Merdeka Square.
Gereja Immanuel (Immanuel Church)

6) Gereja Immanuel (Immanuel Church) (must see)

A classic building in the Palladian style with Roman and Greek elements, the Immanuel Church is the oldest Protestant church in Jakarta. Formerly known by the name of Willemskerk in honor of King Wilhelm I of the Netherlands, the church was built in 1835 under the rule of the above mentioned king. The church’s name was changed to Immanuel (“God be with us”) in 1948, after Indonesia gained its independence.

From an architectural point, the Gereja Immanuel boasts an incredible equilibrium and symmetry which give rise to an elegant and imposing silhouette. The building is structured on two stories, with the first one used for the religious ceremonies and the second one hosting the old organ (dating back from 1843).

Apart from the imposing architecture and the old, yet functional organ, a highly sought for attraction is the Bible printed in 1748, one of the oldest exemplars in the world.

Visits inside the church are permitted, but in order to fully experience the feeling this old church gives you and hear the organ play, it is recommended to attend a service here. The service is held in Bahasa Indonesia, English and Dutch.

The Gereja Immanuel is located near the Gambir Train Station, in the Gambir neighborhood, central Jakarta.

Walking Tours in Jakarta, Indonesia

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Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles

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