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Jakarta Weekend Escape: Kota Tua and Sunda Kelapa

As one of the countries that used to be a Dutch colony, it is not hard to find a historical heritage with Dutch identities in it. Especially in Jakarta, Jakarta a city that used to be the capital of The  Dutch East Indies contains several historical buildings. Those buildings are greatly preserved as Indonesia regards them as historical heritage.  One of the famous areas of historical buildings is Kota Tua (Old Town).  The area of Kota Tua is ranging from Sunda Kelapa Harbor to Pecinan (China Town).


At first, Sunda Kelapa harbor was known as Kalapa and it was part of Padjadjaran’s kingdom territory. Sunda Kalapa harbor was one of the biggest harbors in the old Java. At some point when the military forces from Demak and Cirebon assumed control over this region,  their leader named Fatahillah constructed a town encompassing the harbor. The town was named Jayakarta. By and by, the date of the foundation, June 22, 1527, turned into Jakarta’s anniversary.  In 1619, the Dutch East India Company, famously known as VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) under Jan Pieterszoon Coen took Jayakarta over and changed its name into Batavia, as a rest of their establishing fathers, the Batavir.  From that point, forward VOC built numerous structures around there until 1850. Nonetheless, when VOC dissolved in 1799, this zone was abandoned. The following Governor-General, Daendels, cut down a portion of these structures and utilized the materials to manufacture another town called Nieuw Batavia or Weltevreden in the territory known as Lapangan Banteng.

Source : Google Maps

Luckily, there are numerous lovely buildings still stood strong in Kota Tua Jakarta. In the past the government barely paid attention to Kota Tua. Since 2004, the Jakarta government has been revitalizing this area. The first place to be revitalized was Taman Fatahillah Square in 2006. A portion of the buildings have been redesigned, they are as close as it back to their prime condition.  Fatahillah Square has become the primary attraction of this area. Fatahillah Square is an open space zone encompassed by frontier structures. In this place, guests can pay visit to some museums and stroll around the park. Notwithstanding visiting exhibition halls, Kota Tua is otherwise called a favorite spot for soon to be a married couple to take pre-wedding photographs.  

Museum-visit should be at the top of your list while visiting Kota Tua. There are three historical museums around  Fatahillah Square: The Jakarta History Museum (Museum Sejarah Jakarta), The Museum of Fine Arts, and Ceramics (Museum Seni Rupa dan Keramik) and The Puppet Museum (Museum Wayang). The charge for every gallery is Rp 5.000,00 for adults, Rp 3.000,00 for college students, and Rp 2.000,00 for kids and understudies.

History addicts might need to visit the Jakarta History Museum as it has displays about the history of Jakarta from Dutch colonization era to the Japanese occupation era. Not wandering the Jakarta’s history, the spot additionally features antique furniture on the subsequent floor, for example, the huge Schepenkast shelf made in 1748. On the lawn, guests can visit an underground prison, where Indonesian legends, Pangeran Diponegoro and Untung Suropati were said to have been detained.

For those craftsmanship aficionados. There, guests can wander the Japanese artistic creations by Basuki Abdullah, Antonio Blanco, Lee Man Fong, and Henk Ngantung. As the name infers, the historical center additionally shows pottery from different urban areas over the archipelago, incorporating Malang in East Java, Yogyakarta, and Bandung in West Java. Those needing to find out about wayang (customary manikins) should plan a visit to the Puppet Museum. 

Read also : Top 10 Weekend Activities in Jakarta

Initially worked by the East Indies Company (VOC), the structure is presently home to more than 6.500,00 wayang. Each Sunday, the spot additionally has a wayang showing, which is free for anyone to appreciate. In addition to those three museums, visitors can also drop by the Bank Mandiri Museum and Bank Indonesia Museum that are located opposite the Jakarta Kota train station.

Meanwhile, those wanting to take pre-wedding photos may consider Rumah Akar, an empty building on a corner of Kota Tua that has giant roots growing inside. Available for rent for Rp 200.000,00 per hour, the place is tad creepy, but it is popular for both photos and video shoots.


For those who would want to sightsee, you may visit Sunda Kelapa. Sunda Kelapa may not be as illustrious as it was, but the place still possesses a view worthy of attention. You arguably could have the best view of sunrise and sunset in Jakarta from this place. Strolling around Sunda Kalapa seeing loading and unloading cargo would give you a reflection on its place’s former glory. The most interesting place is perhaps, how the ships are still using traditional wooden phinisi style. You might not find that on any other harbors.

So, if you’re tired to be exposed to Jakarta’s luxurious and hectic life, you can escape to Kota Tua and Sunda Kelapa to enjoy your weekend with your friends or alone!

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