Monday, February 11, 2013


Jakarta History Museum, well known as Fatahillah Museum
[ NOTE: pics are taken from my collections in 2009 and 2012, and the tenses used are in Present since this is a delayed post that I wrote on the spot :p ]

Full Team
Sunday as usual..means no wakeup alarm and no bathing activity in the early morning, and it’s a family dayyyy! so today I, hubby, Athar, my brother and his girl went to visit Fatahillah Museum at Kota Tua. Jakarta’s road on bright sunday morning is such a heaven for me – no traffic at all. We went from Depok at 10 am and arrived here at 11.30 am. We’re also having lost on our way but thanks to “Mbah” GoogleMap that really helps to guide our direction on the right way and time. Unlike my last time visit in 2009 that the museum was closed, today is really crowded,  they’re having an event and at the same time, the Fatahillah Museum is being renovated too.  Before I tell much further stories, it’d be better if we go flashback to many centuries ago, memorizing the history and the glory era of both Fatahillah Museum and Kota Tua in the past.

The History

A Glance History of Fatahillah Museum
The Jakarta History Museum or also known as Fatahillah Museum building was built around 1620 as the former city hall, then constructed in 1707 by the city government  and inaugurated in 1710 by Governor General Abraham Van Riebeeck. The building then became the administrative headquarters of the Dutch East India Company which later by Dutch Colonial Government. The architecture adapted the European architectural style (classic baroque style) which responded to the tropical climate, such as: high pitched roofs, portico, large ventilation and windows openings, etc. The building contains 37 rooms and some cells located beneath it which were notoriously used as dungeons, Diponegoro was ever imprisoned here around 1830. Most prisoners, both Dutch and Indonesian rebels were barbarically executed on the square in front of the building, known as Fatahillah Square and people could look down and watch them from the windows above. In the center of the square is located a fountain used as a water supply during colonial era. In 1974 the Jakarta History Museum was reinaugurated by the Government of DKI Jakarta as the center for collection and conservation for all kinds of cultural heritage related to the history of Jakarta. Nowadays the Jakarta Government has organized some regular attractions involving local communities and their cultures to bring more activities to the Old Batavia square.

My Imppression

Messed Up Display
My first imppression when entering the Fatahillah Museum building is dirty, lack of maintenance, improper interior & furniture layouts and quite hot (it was because both the cross ventilation and air circulation don’t work well due to almost all windows/openings are tightly closed), quite surprising uhmmm....far away from what I thought before.

It’s such a pity since the museum has really great priceless collections but the government doesn’t seem paying any attentions to maintain, rejuvenate and improve both the building and the collections. You could see any dusts everywhere, even on the collections themselves. The borderline between the collections and visitors area isn’t well defined, then visitors can easily touch, grasp, open, even sit on the fragile collections. No wonder I could see any of them are not in complete conditions (such as: broken keyhandle, missing of the cabinet parts, cracks on the statue, etc). The display information boards are only made by awful laminated paper. The layout design of the old furnitures in the room is really messed up and isn’t well arranged at all, there’re many messy fabrics here and there that are not exactly clear whether they’re intended to cover the collections or just being put aside the collections. My hands are really "itchy" for rearranging all the messy things. 

Abandoned Old Building
My big question then appears, why does the museum in Indonesia usually look like spooky or haunted house rather than contribute to the function as a museum itself. Many abroad countries could improve their museum appearances with some interesting ideas that attract visitor to come, to learn, and to become tourism magnet of their country.

Dutch architects are wellknown by their great and detailed works of art. One that’s impressing, no matter in the land of colonization or in their own homeland, they always use the same high qualified standards to design and create the building. Many old buildings in Indonesia were the masterpieces of great famous dutch architects (unfortunately, not many people knew it), let say Albert Aalbers-designed Savoy Homann Hotel, Thomas Karsten–designed Pasar Gede Harjonagoro, Interior of Pasar Johar Semarang and other cityplanning projects in Indonesia, Henri Maclaine Pont–designed Institut Teknologi Bandung building, CP Wolf Schomaker–designed Villa Isola UPI and Preanger Hotel, J Gerber–designed Gedung Sate, and etc. Lots of knowledge such as exterior and interior architecture, construction, siteplanning, etc that we could gain from them. Hopefully the today’s grow rapid developments also concern about the contextualization of the environment, so the new development could stand side by side with the existence of old buildings, not ruin them even become a strength to each other.

Broken Part of The Old Building
After exploring all the museum building, now it’s time to visit the basement (The best part that you shouldn’t miss when visiting the old buildings is their basements!). Unlucky me...the basement is closed due to being renovated. As I mentioned above that the basement is ex jails/cells in the colonization period, a common thing among the old buildings I think that the basement function turns into it in the war period).

Here are some of the photographs taken by me during my visit in 2009 and 2012. Please enjoy them and better with a cup of hot tea! ^^

Classic Atmosphere (except the man talking with cellphone)

Black and White Facade

Berkibarlah Benderaku

Rest Room with Purple Light

Rest Room with Yellow Light

Menu Book of Cafe Batavia

 An Indonesian Traditional Food, Called Nasi Goreng

Wow a Giant Glass of Ice Cream with Firecrackers! Quite Enough for 4 people!

Looks Yummy!!

The View Behind The Window

The Classic Bar and The Mercedes

The Monochrome Facade

Merah Putih

At The Corner....

Need More Maintenance

Lots of Old Sweet Memories in the Bar

Sepeda Onthel

The Front Facade of Fatahillah Museum

Green Window Frames

Kota Tua Jakarta

Behind The Door

Blue Sky and Green Leaf

Classic Mercedes Benz

The Balcony

PKL Around the Museum
Black and White

Wall of Memories

My Lil' Athar Was Playing Around the Museum :)

The Detail Carving of Vintage Bed

a Vintage Bed

The Painting of Governor General Daendels

The Stairs Looked From the Hole

a Vintage Baby Cradle From Year 1620, Owned by Sultan of Ternate as a Gift From VOC

Cracked Statue of Governor General PA. Van Der Parra
My Family
a Vintage Key Handle

a Vintage Glass Lamp

Why is there a hydrant on the Display?

Most Visitors Are Youth

The Display Room

a Vintage Lamp, still works!

a Cannon from 18th Century

a Classic Building Miniature

The "Missing Glass" Cabinet

Could Anybody Translate?

a Cupid?

an Angel Brought Me Here

Statue Attached to the Wall

Locker for Samurai

The Entrance Ticket, quite cheap!

My Brother with His Girl

Beautifully Carved Wooden Accessories

A Queen Size Vintage Bed

a King Size Vintage Bed

Arm Chair with Louis XIV Style from 18th Century, Used for the Member of Hindia Council

Vintage Chair from 18th Century, Made of Teakwood and Rattan

Poor Display

a Classic Cabinet, Made of Teakwood in Batavia

Classic War Equipments

Wooden Construction