In front of Batik museum just few meters to the end of the road,
you will find a small monument on your right side that look like
a mail post with a sign ‘Mylpaal’.
It is a mark of the central axis of Java island.
Mylpaal means ‘0 Km’, it was built as the start of Daendels road,
which is pantura track 1.100 km length initiated by H.W. Daendels
in 1808. [Pantura = Pantai Utara = North coast]
This time we went to Pekalongan to see the city of batik. We’re driving from Jakarta on a beautiful sunny day.
We stopped for lunch at Cirebon at a small humble food stand to try Nasi Jamblang bu Kesi. Jamblang rice is a typical food of Cirebon, West Java. ‘Jamblang’ comes from the name of a region in Cirebon, home of the food vendors. Characteristic of nasi jamblang is serves on a teak leave before the plate. The dishes is serve like a buffet. After having a delicious lunch, we continued the journey.
Arrived in Pekalongan, we went directly to the hotel, so we could had some rest. If you love antique buildings then you will love traveling in Java, where you could find a colonial houses or building easily. And Pekalongan is one of them.
We chose The Sidji hotel, just because it is an antique house that got restored and turned into a very lovely hotel.
We drove around to alun-alun just to see where to have dinner, we saw this huge signage about lamb rice, a middle-eastern food. We follow the address and led us to the Arab quarter not far from alun-alun. The restaurant is also an antique house that serves delicious food.
Pekalongan is one city that produce batik beside Yogyakarta, Surakarta and other places in Indonesia. Because of its colorful and motifs, batik from Pekalongan is very recognizable. In Dec 1st, 2014, city of Pekalongan was inscribed as a UNESCO World’s Creative City for craft and folk art category. You can find batik workshop or shops in several areas such as: Kampung batik Kauman, Kampung batik Pesindon, Pasar Sentono, and you will find batik clothes in more fine design in boutiques in Arab quarter.
I just love this particular boutique in Arab quarter, just because they preserves the origin architecture.
Near alun-alun there is Batik museum that gives so much information about batik and the philosophy behind every motif. The museum is a Dutch heritage building which has stood since 1906. This Art Deco building was changing function from time to time, from an administration office of a sugar factory until city hall, and finally at present time as Batik Museum.
Divided into 3 display rooms, the first room explain batik motifs and its philosophy in the life cycle of human, from birth to death.
Here are some batik motifs in our life cycle with philosophy behind it :
In one of two other display rooms, you can find batik of Eliza van Zuylen. A Dutch, and one of batik maestro who lived in 1863 – 1947. Her design mostly were flower bouquet or well known as buketan (how Indonesian pronounce it).
Here are some pictures of peaceful and serene Pekalongan..
There is an old lemonade soda drink factory by the name ‘Oriental Cap Nyonya’ near alun-alun that was started in 1910-ish and still operating until this day. Even they weren’t as popular as in 1970s, but you can see that they still producing.
The factory is just located behind the Pekalongan jail that also still got the original architecture in one angle.
I must say, Pekalongan is a very nice, laid-back city, where you can enjoy the slow pace and the colonial architecture. Especially a place that has character in their culture, adds its own charm. -SK-
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