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-
At the time when Jakarta was known as Batavia, Menteng area was designed to be the first garden city (tuinstad) in Indonesia. Menteng is a residential area (from back then and up until now). The early design for the lay out of houses in Menteng area was each of every house built in a middle of spacious garden that planted with shade trees and various flowers to create a fresh atmosphere. The terrace was the favorite place of the house to lounged where you can enjoy your cup of tea in the afternoon accompanied by bitterballen or croquette (a savoury Dutch snack) or simple banana fritter after a day activity. While enjoying the breeze, you can hear the shout out of street vendor passing by selling bakso or semprong or serabi (Indonesian traditional food). Nowadays, a house such as described above is only left a few.
Bouwmaatschappij N.V. de Bouwploeg together with P.A.J. Moojen (1879-1955) were the initiator in designing road pattern and built Nieuw-Gondangdia, the former name of Menteng. Moojen designed Indische Woonhuizen or Tropical Classicism, where the particular elements had been faded and soften the typical European classicism.
They built an office building, Bouwploeg building (gedung Boplo) in 1912 which is now turned into a mosque of Cut Meutia. If you see the pictures below, you’ll notice there is a discontinuation of the big staircase from the second floor. The staircase didn’t end up on the first (ground) floor, where it was in the middle of the entrance hall. It was remodeled to have more space for people to pray.
Moojen designed and built Bataviasche Kunstkring (1913) on the entree of Gondangdia, which was used as the Immigration office in 1997. Kunstkring is an art gallery and a technical bureau (Kunst = art; Kring = circle). Now, in the present time, Kunstkring turned back into an art gallery which also a restaurant.
Kunstkring is located in jalan Teuku Umar. Just opposite the street, there is this old house that attract my attention. This house was built around 1910 and from the black and white picture that was taken in 1939, there was a kiosk just in front of the house. Back then, you can found a kiosk such as this one in every intersection in Menteng.
If we go straight in jalan Teuku Umar away from Kunstkring, we will find Taman (park) Suropati that was once named Burgemeester Bisschopplein after the first Batavia mayor's name, G.J. Bisshop (1916-1920). There is a turn to the left before Taman Suropati, that will lead you to Taman Situ lembang an artificial lake. The park is quite nice suitable for children to take a stroll in the afternoon or morning.
Address: Jl. Taman Suropati
Suropati park is the meeting point of three main road; jalan Teuku Umar, jalan Diponegoro, and jalan Imam Bonjol. Perfect for jogging, walking your dog, or simply to read a book. If you are lucky, in Sunday morning you will find a small orchestra played by children. Their name is Taman Suropati Chamber. Have a look on the video below, I shared from youtube account: Kristin Dameria.
A government office building that used to be a Vrijmetselarij Loge or the place where freemason member gather. Built in 1925 by Dutch architect F.J.L. Ghijsels born in Tulung Agung, East Java, in 1882.
Museum Perumusan Naskah Proklamasi
Address: Jl. Imam Bonjol No.1
An Art Deco styled architecture, built in 1920s by Dutch architect J.F.L. Blankenberg. Owned by Nillmij insurance which is the forerunner of Jiwasraya insurance company. Aside of being a home of so many hosts, the most important point in our fight for freedom history, this house was the place where our first president, Soekarno, along with Hatta and Ahmad Soebardjo gathered to formulate our proclamation text that was read by Soekarno the next morning, August 17th 1945, in front of his house. The day that became Indonesia’s Independence day.
There are a lot of places that is interesting in Menteng district. I shall try to review most of it (one by one), but surely not in one article. Please follow our twitter @shrayakulture to find out an up date when we post the part 2 of this "The Menteng District" article. -SK-
After almost a year ago, when I visited Ereveld Menteng Pulo, now I visit the other Ereveld in Jakarta. It is located in Ancol and actually the first Ereveld in Indonesia from 7 others (two in Jakarta, one in Cimahi, one in Bandung, two in Semarang, and one in Surabaya).
I wrote about Ereveld Menteng Pulo last year in our blog, you can read it here:
Right then.. back to Ereveld Ancol.
Once again, I met a friendly and communicative superintendent (opzichter) of this ereveld, Mr. Dicky, just like the caretaker in Menteng Pulo, Mr. Eliza, he too a good tour guide. He shows around the place with detail explaination the history of ereveld Ancol.
Ereveld Ancol was established in September 1946. This is the first cemetery of the Dutch army and Indonesian (who is pro-Dutch) that got killed or executed by the Japanese back in colonization era. The layout of the graveyard is rectangular and divided lengthwise by a main path that leads to a monument.
At the right of the entrance is a pendopo. Where visitors can write their names on the guest book and listen to the superintendent’s explanation of the history of ereveld Ancol while sit down and sheltered from the sun. Keep in mind, Ancol is a beach area plus the hot weather.
There is one corner, if you standing from the pendopo facing to the monument, on the right side, you’ll see a tree that appears only its trunk without any leaves. That spot is where 200 people (Dutch and local) got executed by the Japanese during Japan colonization 1942. These 200 executed people were buried on the place where they built the monument.
The uniqueness of this place is, if you standing on the conblock. Right on that level. You are actually standing 50 cm below the sea level. So, when the rain season come, the pump inside that house on the left is working to pump out the water that rising from the sewer to the wall you see in the picture. -SK-
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