A day off is all about relaxation and wishing the time stops for a moment for us to enjoy the moment to the fullest. But for quite a few of us, a bit of exploring and adventure then coming home with fascinating stores is very much needed. The historic sites are no doubt one of the largest contributing factors to the aura that surrounds a city and Bandung has a lot of historical sites to visit. To narrow it down, we’ve put together 10 of the most famous historical sites in Bandung.
1. Gedung Sate
The building, which is now the office of the Governor of West Java, was originally named the Verkeer en WaterstaatDepartment building or the Department of Transportation, Public Works and Water Management which was built in 1920. It was designed according to a neoclassical design incorporating native Indonesian elements by Dutch architect J. Gerber. This building was built in line with the colonial government’s plan to make Bandung the capital city. When you have a chance to visit the Gedung Sate Museum, you can find out more about the history inside.
2. Gedung Merdeka
Before being renamed by President Soekarno, this building was known as Sociëteit Concordia were Dutch citizens during the colonial period gathered in Bandung. After Indonesia’s independence, this building witnessed the history of the Asia-Africa Conference in 1955. Today, this art-deco building serves as a museum displaying collections and photographs of the Asian-African Conference.
3. Hotel Savoy Homann
This Art Deco-style hotel has been around since 1871 and is arguably the first hotel in Bandung. The name Savoy itself means luxury, while the name Homann is taken from the German family name of the hotel owner. In 1955 this hotel had an important role as a place to stay for the leaders of Asian and African countries. If you want to trace back history, you can try staying in a room that was used by Soekarno, Jawaharlal Nehru (PM India), to Zhou Enlai (President of China).
4. Gedung Pensil
As the name implies, this building has a pencil-shaped conical roof. This building has been established in 1918 and has always had a function as a place of business from Handel MijGroote & Scholtz, Dunlop, and Shell even though it has changed ownership several times until now. This one building also became an icon for the “Simpang Lima” in the 1930s
5. De Majestic
De Majestic is one of the first movie theaters in Bandung. This building was designed by a renowned artist in Bandung at the time, Wolff Schoemaker. De Majestic was indeed built to support increased economic activity in the Braga area at that time. This building also witnessed the screening of the first film in Indonesia entitled Loetoeng Kasaroeng in 1926. Currently, De Majestic has changed its function from a movie theater to a performing arts building.
6. Museum Pos
This museum has been established in 1933 and has a collection of postal objects from Indonesia and around the world. Museum Pos also occupies the same building as the Indonesian Postal Headquarters which is located in the GedungSate compound. For philately researchers, this museum is a must-visit place because it has thousands of stamp collections. In addition, here you can find postal objects from time to time.
7. Villa Isola
This beautifully magnificent villa is located in the northern area of Bandung which is currently the area of the Indonesia University of Education. This villa was completed in 1933 by the Dutch architect Wolff Schoemaker and was first owned by a Dutch media tycoon Dominique Willem Berretty. After his death, it was transformed into a hotel and now it serves as the headmastership office of Indonesia University of Education Villa Isola has an art-deco design that combines traditional concepts with Javanese architectural philosophy with a north-south cosmic axis, where the building faces Mount TangkubanPerahu to the north and the city of Bandung to the south.
8. Grand Hotel Preanger
This hotel was founded in 1897. Initially, this building was a bakery that was often stopped by plantation entrepreneurs when they visited Bandung. However, the bakery went bankrupt and eventually turned into a hotel. This hotel underwent a facade change to what we see today in 1929. The work was architected by Wolff Schoemaker who was accompanied by his student Soekarno as an assistant. In 1955 this hotel also became a place to stay for various delegates from Asia and Africa.
9. Gedung Indonesia Menggugat
This building was originally a residence for Dutch citizens, which was built in 1907. The function of this building was only changed to Landraad or the Colonial Government Court in 1917. This building became a witness when Soekarno read his defense plea about the independence speech, titled “Indonesia Menggugat” in 1930. Currently, this building is a cultural heritage and a place for artists, journalists, and teachers to gather. Several events are often held here.
10. Observatorium Bosscha
This oldest and largest observatory in Indonesia has been established since 1923. Bosscha was built by Nederlandsch-Indische Sterrekundige Vereeniging (Dutch-Indies Astronomical Society) to advance the science of astronomy in the Dutch East Indies. The name Bosscha itself is taken from the name of the initiator and fundraiser, Karel Albert Rudolf Bosscha, a Malabar gardener. Currently, the Observatory has 12 telescopes. You can visit here at certain times by making an appointment in advance.