Jakarta Historis Sites
The Old City
Visitors to present day Kota as the old Jakarta district is called, will appreciate the air-conditioned bliss afforded by the glamorous Cafe Batavia. It's a relic of the days of colonial indulgence, and boasts well-stocked bars upstairs and down, a gourmet restaurant and lots of arty photographs of screen and fashion icons of the fifties. more
Istiqlal Mosque (Mesjid Istiqlal)
Address: Jalan Taman Wijaya Kusuma, Central Jakarta.
Phone: (62)(21) 386 8347.
Review: Indonesia is the biggest Muslim nation on earth and therefore, fittingly, the biggest mosque in South-East Asia is situated in Central Jakarta. more
St Mary's Cathedral (Kathedral)
Address: Jalan Kathedral 7B, Central Jakarta.
Phone: (62)(21) 351 918
Review: Across the road from the Mesjid Istiqlal Mosque you'll find the St Mary's Cathedral, known today by the locals as “Kathedral”. more
Immanuel Church (Gereja Immanuel)
Address: Jl. Merdeka Timur 10 - Central Jkt
Review: This landmark church was built for King Willem I. The name was changed from Willemskerk to Immanuel in 1948.
Black Portuguese Church (Gereja Sion)
Review: This church, built in 1695, is Jakarta's oldest place of worship.
BEOS Kota Station - A colonial 1930s landmark
Kota Train Station stands as a typical example of modern colonial architecture of the 1930s. It blends in well with the charming backdrop of Kota (the Old City), where historical buildings offer a peek into the city's colonial past. The sturdy construction was once scheduled to be demolished until conservation activists opposed strongly to it. Today, it is designated a national landmark and remains functional. Although often crowded, trains are used by many Indonesians, especially those who need to commute in and out of Jakarta.
Arsip Nasional (National Archive Building)
Restored 18th-century mansion museum
Address: Jalan Gajah Mada 111, Harmoni
Reviews: Originally built as a private residence, this splendid Dutch-style mansion and its annexes were built by Reinier de Klerk, before he became Batavia's governor-general in 1777. The property changed hands several times and finally functioned as a national archive center until the mid-1980s. Set in landscaped gardens, the building provides visitors an insight into the luxurious lifestyle of the well-heeled Dutch colonists in the 18th century. Since its reopening in November 1998, it serves as a public space for cultural events and the exhibition of the nation's archives. Admission is free.
Candra Naya - 17th-century old Chinese house
Address: Jalan Gajah Mada 188
Reviews: Located in the heart of Chinatown , this charming 17th-century building originally served as the private home for So Bing Kong, a prominent merchant who was appointed headman of the ethnic Chinese. It also served as a meeting place and commercial hub for Chinese merchants and communities. Two other similar houses were demolished in the 1990s, making Candra Naya the last one standing. An Indonesian conglomerate, Modern Group, has recently incorporated the house into a development plan for a hotel, apartment and shopping complex. Admission is free, but permission must be sought from caretaker.
Istana Merdeka (Presidential Palace) - Official meeting place of dignitaries
Address: Jalan Medan Merdeka Utara, Gambir
Reviews: Originally called Koningsplein Paleis, this palace established between 1873 and 1879 Originally called Koningsplein Paleis, this palace established between 1873 and 1879 features a neoclassical architecture. Set in well-maintained gardens, it was home to 15 Dutch governor-generals, three Japanese commanders and the first president of Indonesia . In 1949, the Indonesian founding fathers and the Dutch government signed an agreement here, ending the War of Independence. Now it functions as an official venue for presidential meetings and state functions. Expect a security check before entering. Dress modestly. No trousers for women. Admission is free.
Istana Negara ( State Palace ) - Historical site of peace agreement
Address: Jalan Veteran, Gambir
Reviews: This palace was built late in the 18th century by J.A. van Braam. Originally comprising two stories, it was purchased in 1820 by the Dutch government as a temporary residence for Governor-General Herman Willem Daendels. In November 1946, the premises witnessed the signing of the Linggarjati agreement by Dutch and Indonesian governments. This agreement temporarily ended hostilities between the two countries. The commodious rear gallery sometimes hosts state banquets and receptions. Dress modestly. No trousers for women. Admission is free.
Jalan Pekojan Old Houses - 18th-century Chinese-style houses
Address: Jalan Pekojan 38, 45-47, 54, 55, 60, 61. 67, 71, 86 and 87
Reviews: This series of quaint Chinese-style houses was erected around the 1770s during the colonial period after consultation with the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.). Designed and constructed by Chinese contractors, they and others in the area were originally intended to resettle the Chinese community after the civil unrest of 1737 –1741. Since then the old houses have served various other functions. Today, some are converted into temples and ash houses. Admission is free.
Rumah Grogol (Grogol House) - Fine Dutch-Indonesian architecture
Address: Jalan Palmerah Barat, Palmerah, Jakarta 11480.
Reviews: Also called Gedung Tinggi because of its height (tinggi means tall), Rumah Grogol was established by Andries Hartsinck, a Dutch official in the 1780s. The Dutch-Indonesian architecture it features was popularly adopted during its heyday. The lower level retains the original foyer and comprises primarily an open space featuring tall, typically European pillars. The second storey is designed like a gallery. One room on the ground floor operates as a police post, while the upper level occasionally functions as a meeting venue. Other parts of the house are inaccessible and not properly maintained.
Rumah Sakit Cikini ( Cikini Hospital ) - Historical hospital originally artist's home
Address: Jalan Raden Saleh 40, Jakarta , 10330.
Reviews: Cikini hospital is renowned for its spacious halls, graceful rooms and skilled nurses and physicians. Originally known as Raden Saleh Mansion , the building was constructed in 1852 by prominent Indonesian painter and nobleman, Raden Saleh. In 1898, Adriana Josina Kooman-de Graaf bought it and transformed it into a hospital and a nurses' academy. Now the hospital is the center of dialysis treatment and kidney transplantation. Call in advance to arrange for a tour of the premises.
Rumah Si Pitung (Si Pitung House) - Traditional Bugis house
Address: Kampung Marunda Pulo. Pulau Marunda, Jakarta 1415.
Reviews: This tall structure is an excellent instance of a Bugis house (from Sulawesi ).
Some sources speculate its completion to be around the early 20th century. Located within a 700-square-meter yard, it stands on stilts due to frequent flooding in the area. After renovation works in 1972, the wooden floor replaced the original bamboo one and the teakwood wall was painted dark red. A fence and a wall surround this architectural marvel. Charter a boat from Jalan PPM Marunda Besar to get to Pulau Marunda. The house is located about 500 meters from the dock. Admission is free
Sumber Jati - The oldest sawmill in town
Address: Jalan Pekapuran II/51, Glodok, Jakarta 11210.
Reviews: Built approximately two and a half centuries ago, this was the first Chinese house in the neighborhood. It served as a residence until 1953 and is now used as a sawmill, processing teak and camphor wood. While function has been a greater priority than preservation, some of the original parts remain. For example, the exceptionally well-preserved veranda, tiles and wooden door with a bar lock have witnessed a 250 year-long season of changes.
V.O.C. Warehouses - Quaint 17th-century architectural gems
Address: Between Jalan Kakap and Kali Besar, Sunda Kelapa, Jakarta 14440.
Reviews: The Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.) warehouses remain as some the city's most precious architectural gems. Though not open to public, tourists - especially Hollanders - walk along the sidewalk to catch a glimpse of the past. The nearby shipyard was completed around 1619 to repair small vessels and signal incoming ships, whereas the godowns were constructed between 1663 and 1669. In 1809, the city governor announced the closing of the shipyard because of unhygienic working conditions. Since then, these rickety yet beautiful structures stand as silent testimony to the nation's coloni al history.
Ex-Mahkamah Agung (Old Supreme Court Building) - Fighting for justice since 1848
Address: Jalan Lapangan Banteng Timur
Reviews: This building was once the Supreme Court of Indonesia, where high-profile cases were brought to trial and where Dutch officials met to make decisions regarding the West Indies. Built in 1848, it reflects the elegant charm of the past. The white house of the Ministry of Finance, standing just adjacent, was originally part of the complex. The new Supreme Court is now located in the neighborhood of Freedom Square , close to the National Monument. Admission is free, but written permission is required three days in advance.
Gedung Departemen Keuangan (Ministry of Finance Building) - Jakarta's White House
Address: Jalan Lapangan Banteng Timur 2-4
Reviews: Construction of this architectural gem was commissioned by Governor-General Herman Willem Daendels in 1809 but did not finish until 1828. Modeled in an Empire style, the proportionate Witte Huis (White House) measures 160 meters lengthwise. The piles on the first story feature a Doric design, whereas those on the second level sport an Ionic one. In the past, the building hosted many state functions and even served as a post office, a printing office and a high court. Today, it houses the Ministry of Finance. Admission is free, but written permission is required three days in advance.