The capital of Indonesia is one of the busiest cities in the world. Dynamic, cosmopolitan, vibrant and modern, Jakarta is endowed with an exceptional historical and cultural heritage that will delight all tourists.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a local, there is something enthralling about visiting the Jakarta icons and landmarks. Wondering what are they? Here’s the list of the most famous landmarks with historical value in Jakarta.
National Monument (Monas)
The National Monument (Indonesian: Monumen Nasional, abbreviated Monas) is a 132 m (433 ft) obelisk in the centre of Merdeka Square, Central Jakarta, symbolizing the fight for Indonesia. It is the national monument of the Republic of Indonesia, built to commemorate the struggle for Indonesian independence.
The original text of the Proclamation of Independence is stored in a glass case inside the bronze golden door. On the west side of the inner wall. Mechanized bronze doors weigh 4 tons and are coated with goldleaf adorned with the image of a Wijaya Kusuma flower, symbolizing eternity, and a lotus flower, symbolizing purity. The doors, known as Gerbang Kemerdekaan or the Gate of Independence, open slowly while the nationalist Padamu Negeri song plays followed by a recording of Sukarno reading the text of the Proclamation. Originally the eastern side displayed the most sacred Indonesian flag, Sang Saka Merah Putih, originally raised on 17 August 1945. However, because it is fragile and in poor condition, it is no longer displayed. During Independence Day ceremonies, the original flag is taken out but only to accompany the replica flag to be flown in front of the Merdeka Palace.
The Proclamation Monument
The Proclamation Monument is a memorial monument to the proclamation of the Independence of the Republic of Indonesia which is located in the Proclamation Park complex on Jalan Proklamasi, Central Jakarta.
The Proclamation Monument is located in Soekarno’s former residence at Pegangsaan Timur 56 Street. It was in this house that the text of the Proclamation of Independence of the Republic of Indonesia was read for the first time by President Soekarno on August 17, 1945 in Soekarno’s residence. This historic house, which used to be called the Proclamation Building, has not existed since 1960.
In this park complex, there are monuments of two large Soekarno-Hatta statues standing side by side, similar to the photo documentation when the text of the proclamation was first read. In the middle of the two statues of the proclaimer, there is a statue of the proclamation text made of black marble stone slabs, with the arrangement and form of writing similar to the original typed text.
The Formulation of Proclamation Text Museum
The Formulation of Proclamation Text Museum is located at Imam Bonjol 1 Street, Menteng, Jakarta. During the Japanese occupation, this street was called Meiji Dori Street. Before becoming a museum, this building was the residence of Rear Admiral Tadashi Maeda. He was a high-ranking officer in the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Dutch East Indies during the Pacific War. Rear Admiral Tadashi Maeda himself was a figure who played an important role in the independence of Indonesia, where he allowed his house to be used as a place for the formulation of the text of the proclamation of Indonesia.
Before finally being inaugurated as the Proclamation Museum, this building has changed its function several times. In the end, finally, on March 26, 1987, this building was given to the Directorate of Museums and used as The Formulation of Proclamation Text Museum.
Jakarta Old Town
Kota Tua Jakarta also known as Jakarta Old Town is a neighborhood comprising the original downtown area of Jakarta, Indonesia during the Oud Batavia (Dutch for “Old Batavia”).
The site contains Dutch-style structures mostly dated from the 17th century when the port city served as the Asian headquarter of VOC during the heyday of the spice trade. The area spans 1.3 square kilometres within North Jakarta and West Jakarta. The largely Chinese downtown area of Glodok is a part of Kota Tua.
Nowadays, many remaining historical buildings and architecture are steadily deteriorating, but some of the old buildings have been restored to their former glory. However, there is still much hope in restoring the area, especially with aid from various non-profit organizations, private institutions, and the government all stepping up to the plate to rejuvenate Old Jakarta’s legacy.
Fatahillah Museum is housed in the former City Hall located in the old part of the city now known as Jakarta Kota, a few hundred meters behind the port and warehouses of Sunda Kelapa. Originally called the Stadhuis, this building was the administrative headquarters of the Dutch East India Company, and later of the Dutch Government. Today, this museum displays the history of Jakarta from prehistoric days to the founding of the town of Jayakarta.
Sunda Kelapa Harbour
Dutch domination of Jakarta and the rest of Indonesia began from this area, whereas the remnants of Kasteel Batavia, an old fort and trading post of the Dutch East Indies Company can still be seen now. Sunda Kelapa is at present a fisherman’s wharf and an inter-island port. This 500-year-old harbor area was a vital link to markets of the outside world for the 15th-century kingdom of Pajajaran. It was formerly the harbor town of Sunda Kelapa where the Portuguese traded with the Hindu Kingdom of Pajajaran in the early 16th century. Since then this port has belonged to the Portuguese and Dutch.