Often considered one of the most famous landmarks in Jakarta, the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, with its Selamat Datang Monument, has seen plenty of changes and is still its majestic self after going through major renovations late in 2016. Fountain shows take place on Saturday and Sunday evenings.
In the 1980s, the traffic circle was surrounded by the Mandarin hotel and Hotel Indonesia. Now, there are four luxury hotels near it, namely the Grand Hyatt, the Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta, the Mandarin and the Pullman. The 2018 photo was taken with the courtesy of the Grand Hyatt.
Older Jakartans might be more familiar with Jakarta Kota Station’s old name: Beos Station, which may be confusing for most, as Beos is an abbreviation of Bataviasche Ooster Spoorweg Mattschapij (Batavian Eastern Railway Company). Several also believed that Beos was an abbreviation for “Batavia en Omstreken” or Batavia and its surroundings, as the station served as a transportation hub for cities around Batavia, namely Bekassie (Bekasi), Buitenzorg (Bogor), Parijs van Java (Bandung), Karavam (Karawang) and many more.
Built in 1887, Jakarta Kota Station is located in the Old Town area at Pinangsia Taman Sari, West Jakarta. The art deco architecture of the building was designed by a Dutch architect named Frans Johan Louwrens Ghijsels, and is carefully maintained today. Currently, the station serves seven intercity routes and three commuter line routes: the Blue Line, Red Line and Pink Line. In 1993, the station received its historical and cultural landmark status.
Nestled in the heart of Jakarta, Pasar Baru, which translates to “new market”, was the go-to place for Jakarta’s fashionistas to get the best fashion and accessory items. Visitors can enter the now- canopied market from right across the Jakarta Art Building, as well as from Jalan Pintu Air Raya. Established in 1820, Pasar Baru still holds the record of being one of the oldest shopping districts in Jakarta.
Jakartans go to Pasar Baru for its abundance of textiles. Probitas, one of the most famous textile shops in the market, has existed since 1953. Aside from textiles, Pasar Baru is also home to the city’s oldest shoe shops and salon supply shops. Noodle fanatics might also be acquainted with the famed Bakmi Gang Kelinci and Bakmi Aboen, which originated from within small alleys in the market.
Inaugurated in 1968 by then-governor Ali Sadikin, Taman Ismail Marzuki was built on an area that was once the Jakarta Zoo. Bearing the name of legendary composer Ismail Marzuki, it then became a place of expression “for regional artists of Pasar Senen (Senen Market)….[since] the Jakarta Cultural Center could no longer be used due to the split in political ideologies”, as stated by Taman Ismail Marzuki’s official website. From the early days, it became a main hub for artists, writers, filmmakers and humanists whose legacies have lived on, such as Goenawan Mohamad, Arifin C. Noer, Salim Said, Arief Budiman, Sardono W. Kusumo, Teguh Karya, Misbach Yusa Biran and Asrul Sani.
It initially had two theaters, an open-air theater, an exhibition area and a planetarium building. Now, Taman Ismail Marzuki is equipped with three theaters, two art galleries, two plazas and supporting facilities that include a library, a documentation center, a bookstore and a Kineforum alternative theater. It remains one of the most important places in Jakarta where art and culture are interpreted, challenged, discussed and continue to inspire.
Located between Jl. Sudirman and Jl. Gatot Subroto, Semanggi was initiated by Sukarno, the country’s first president, to connect the two main roads. Named after semanggi (four-leaf clover), as the area used to be filled with swamps and semanggi plants, it adopted the plant’s shape in the form of four encircling roads. Architect Soetami, who was also the public works minister at the time, started working on the project in 1961. As one of the main pieces of infrastructure for the fourth Asian Games in 1962, Semanggi was finished on time along with the construction of Senayan Stadium, Hotel Indonesia and state-owned television station TVRI.
The Simpang Susun Semanggi (Semanggi Interchange) was inaugurated in August 2017 by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to reduce traffic congestion in the area. In what was a dark time in Indonesian history, the interchange was also the scene of protest demonstrations in November 1998 and September 1999 that ended in the death of 18 people.
The unmistakable 11-meter statue with a 27-meter-high supporting pillar in South Jakarta is often called the Pancoran Monument. Its original name, Dirgantara Statue, came from former president Sukarno in 1964 as he wished to honor Indonesia’s aviation heroes. Sculptor Edhi Sunarso designed a man with muscles and a firm look on his face, with eyes staring straight ahead. His body was shaped in a way to give the impression that he is about to take off into the sky.
With a statue made of bronze and a pillar made of concrete, Dirgantara was inaugurated in 1966. In 2014, dust, pollution and rust was cleaned from it. The statue now looks over the busy traffic underneath, with a newly constructed overpass in the area.
Amid the revitalization of Jakarta Old Town, which is expected to be finished by mid-August to welcome the Asian Games, Kota Intan Bridge is ready to enter its second phase of revitalization. The bridge is located on the end of Jl. Kalibesar Barat, West Jakarta, not far from the Fatahillah square.
Kota Intan Bridge was built in 1628 under the name Engelse Brug (English Bridge) as it was located near a British fortress. Its name changed several times according to the change of periods in the Dutch colonial era. It was once named Queen Juliana’s Bridge after the Dutch queen, and now the bridge is commonly known as Kota Intan Bridge.
The bridge is now also referred to as jembatan gantung (hanging bridge) – in the past, it operated as a bascule bridge. The double “leaf” of the bridge would swing upward to provide clearance for boat traffic during the colonial era.
Part of the Ciliwung River around the bridge is now gradually being cleared to prepare for the continued revitalization of the bridge. Not long ago, the bridge was favored as a destination for Jakarta Old Town excursions.
This 18 th century canal in Jakarta Old Town is now almost completely revitalized and set to become a new center of attention for visitors of Kota Tua. Heritage buildings stand on the sides of the Kali Besar Canal, hinting at its glorious past as the residential and leisure area for Batavia’s rich and famous.
Built along the Ciliwung River, the canal connects the port to the old city of Batavia. One may stand near the canal and imagine boats traveling in its waters, carrying people and goods to and from the port.
The Old Town Management Unit is now working on turning the banks of the canal into an urban park and water farm with leaf-shaped floating pontoons. Sculptures by prominent Indonesian artists will also grace the vicinity, while the water will be cleared with filters. Jakarta is looking forward to having its great canal restored to its former glory.
With the Liberation of West Papua monument at its center, the park is in its final stages of being revamped. The monument and its surrounding plaza received a makeover, helmed by prominent architect Yori Antar. It boasts a modern and minimalist design, in line with the architecture of the nearby Istiqlal Mosque.
Slated to become a public park, Lapangan Banteng now comprises three zones, namely the conservation zone centered at the monument, the sports zone and the sanctuary forest zone. The annual flora and fauna exhibition will return later this year with a new look.
The park is also expected to host many other events and open to the public. It is strategically located near Istiqlal Mosque, the Jakarta Cathedral and Immanuel Church. May Lapangan Banteng inspire Jakartans to continue living in harmony.
Maria Wening Gitomartoyo
Muthi Achadiat Kautsar
Dhoni Setiawan, Seto Wardhana,
Wienda Parwitasari, Jerry Adiguna
Sandy Riady Hasan