Jakarta, Immanuel Church

Jakarta, Immanuel Church

Click to Enlarge !


Immanuel Church is one of the historical building in Jakarta. It was first constructed on the birthday of King Willem I on August 24, 1835 and lasted four years until August 24, 1839.  The church was then named Willemskerk.

This church is situated in the center of Jakarta, right across the Gambir train station and not far from Monas. With this location, it is easy to reach this place from any parts of Jakarta.

Apart from being an ancient and a historical building, what interests me about this church is because it has Sunday Service in several languages : Indonesian: English, Dutch and Korean.

Here is their schedule :
06:00 Indonesian
08:00 Indonesian
10:00 Dutch
11:00 Korean
17:00 English
18:30 Indonesian

I started coming regularly to the Dutch Service (Hollandse Dienst) around a year ago with my mom. She had heard about the Hollandse Dienst several years ago and we had come there once or twice but we didn’t become regular visitor until end of 2011.

The first time I had been there I was a bit surprised because apparently I was the youngest visitor. Most of the visitors were around my mom’s age and older. Actually this is not a big surprise because most of the people who speak Dutch these days are around her age. But one thing interests me is that one of their pastors who regularly gives preach is still young and he is around my age. Apparently, he had studied his master in Theology in Holland. No wonder he speaks good Dutch.

The congregation was small, not more than 30 people. But with this small community, they know each another. And to keep the bound strong among them, after the service they have coffee or tea together along with some snack at the small building at the back of the church.

I probably won’t be attending this service next year because I will be moving out of town. But one thing I want to say here is that this church has become a part of my life for the past one year and I hope it will continue to grow and by the time I return back to Jakarta, they will still be there. 

Jakarta, Stadhuis of Batavia

Jakarta, Stadhuis of Batavia


The former Stadhuis of Batavia, the seat of the city government during the VOC and the Dutch East Indies era. The building now serves as Jakarta Historical Museum or also known as Museum Fatahillah. The museum houses several important artifacts dated from ancient Hindu Tarumanagara inscriptions to colonial furniture. The building stood at Jakarta Old Town area, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Jakarta, Kota Tua

Jakarta, Kota Tua

Click to Enlarge !


Jakarta Old Town

If you happen to visit Jakarta and has some interest on history of the city or into historical tourism then Kota Tua, Jakarta Old Town is definitely the place you should visit. Kota Tua spans 1.3 square kilometres, dubbed “The Jewel of Asia” and “Queen of the East” in the 16th century by European sailors, and well-known as Batavia in the 17th century.

Jakarta Old Town is the prototype of now metropolitan Jakarta. It was started from a small port at the mouth of Ciliwung River known as Sunda Kelapa, in 1526, Fatahillah, a Cirebon’s prince sent by Sultanate of Demak, invade this port then he change the name of the port to Jayakarta. This town is only 15 hectare in size and rendered in traditional Javanese coastal city. In 1619 VOC destroyed Jayakarta under the command of Jan Pieterzoon Coen. A year later VOC build a new town named “Batavia” to honor Batavieren, the Dutch ancestors. This city centered around east bank of Ciliwung river, around present day Fatahillah Square. In 1635 the city expanded towards west banks of Ciliwung, on the ruins of former Jayakarta. The city was designed in European Dutch style completed with fortress (Casteel Batavia), city wall, and canals. The city of Batavia was completed in 1650. It became the center of VOC in East Indies. The city later became the administrative center of colonial Dutch East Indies. In 1942 during the Japanese occupation, the name of the city changes to Jakarta, and now serves as the capital city of Indonesia. In 1972, the Governor of Jakarta Ali Sadikin issued a decree that officially made the Jakarta Kota area into a heritage site. The governor’s decision was necessary in order to preserve the city’s architectural roots — or at least what was left of it.

Kota Tua area has many old buildings that retains Dutch, European architecture style or Chinese and even some of them with combination of Dutch and Chinese architecture. Some of the old buildings at Kota Tua area used as museums by the governor of DKI Jakarta.

Interesting places you should see at Kota Tua, Jakarta are Jakarta History Museum (which is also called as Fatahillah Museum), Wayang Museum, Fine Art and Ceramic Museum, Bank Mandiri Museum, Bank Indonesia Museum, Jakarta Kota Station (is also called Beos), Maritime Museum (Museum Bahari), Sunda Kelapa Harbor, Kota Intan Bridge, Syahbandar Tower, Batavia Café, Batavia Hotel and other old buildings. It is best to visit this old town by morning to avoid the stinging heat of the sun.

West Java, Sukabumi Historical Buildings

Sukabumi Historical Buildings

Click to Enlarge !


Click to Enlarge !


Sukabumi Regency Indonesian: Kabupaten Sukabumi is a regency (kabupaten) of West Java, Indonesia. Pelabuhan Ratu is its capital. Sukabumi City is fully encircled by the regency.


There are several beaches such as Pasir Putih Beach (Muara Cipanarikan), Pangumbahan Beach (Turtle Beach), Cibuaya Beach and Ujunggenteng Beach. Batu Nunggul Beach is suitable for surfing with wave height approximately 3 meters in dry season, but only 1 meter height in rainy season.[1]


A 120-meter Caweni Waterfall is located only 200 meters from Cidolog road, about 70 kilometer from Sukabumi and about 25 kilometer from Sagaranten district

East Java, Madura, Sumenep, Asta Tinggi

East Java, Madura, Sumenep, Asta Tinggi

Click to Enlarge !


Click to Enlarge !


Madura, an island off the northeastern coast of Java, is famous for its karapan sapi (bull race) and carok (duel with scythes), two local traditions steeped in strong passion.

But the Madurese also have Asta Tinggi, a cemetery for their kings and nobility with an artistic blend of Islamic, European and Chinese cultures.

In Indonesia, the cemeteries of leaders of former times are closely connected with supernatural powers. Likewise, 16th-century Asta Tinggi in Kebonagung village in Sumenep, Madura, is inseparable from local belief in the presence of ancestral spirits around the site.

“Please take off your footwear before entering the cemetery complex. Any violation of this rule might provoke some curse inflicted by the ghostly protectors of this graveyard. Asta Tinggi is indeed a sacred place,” cemetery guard Marsudin, 46, told The Jakarta Post.

In January 2010, continued Marsudin, a large explosion could be heard within a one-kilometer radius of the site, the sound originating from the grave of Ajeng Salmah binti Kiai RB Abdul Latif, a descendant of King Paku Nata Ningrat the 13th (1879-1901). The cause of the strange and smokeless blast at 10:30 p.m., which damaged some parts of the grave, has remained a mystery.

“Local people believe it was magic. Apart from the explosion, eerie things have frequently been noticed around this place, such as apparitions of spirits and voices from the beyond,” he revealed.

The public notion of the sacred place, according to Marsudin, makes people observe everything required of them like entering the compound barefoot. “It’s safe to leave your shoes and sandals at the gate because visitors don’t dare to do bad deeds here,” he assured.

Pilgrims to Asta Tinggi usually perform rituals to seek help from their forebears through prayers for the success of business ventures and other efforts. Khudori, 18, a high school student, for instance, made a plea in order to pass his national exams.

“By saying a prayer here, I gain a lot of composure and self-confidence to face the coming exams because paying homage to venerated figures may help bring my plea closer to Allah to be answered,” said Khudori recently.

Nurullah, another cemetery guard, said the number of students visiting the site increased by almost 20 percent with the approaching national exams. “Some of them even spend the night in one of the tombs. They usually bring along food and mats,” he said.

Abdul Kadir, 45, an employee from Probolinggo, East Java, visited Asta Tinggi to express gratitude for a promotion. “I promised to come here to clean one of the graves soon after my promotion,” he revealed.

Fanani, a pilgrim from Situbondo, East Java, said she regularly visited the cemetery as a tribute to regal ulema figures and in a manifestation of her passion for the nation’s cultural heritage. “Asta Tinggi is mostly crowded during the fasting month of Ramadan,” Fanani noted.

Asta Tinggi, covering an approximate area of 110 by 100 meters in the southwestern part of the city of Sumenep, is a religious tourist destination there. The others are Masjid Agung, the Keraton Museum and Sayyid Yusuf’s tomb in Talango district, Poteran Island, off Sumenep.

“Asta” means cemetery and “tinggi” means high, so Asta Tinggi is widely interpreted as a graveyard situated on the peak of a hill. Bendara Ahmad says in his book Lintasan Sejarah Sumenep dan Asta Tinggi Beserta Tokoh (History of Sumenep and Asta Tinggi) that the cemetery is like a keraton (palace).

Unsurprisingly, in the past, British troops were misdirected. “As they thought it was a palace of the local kingdom, they shot a cannon from their warship in Kalianget waters, Madura. But the shot missed its target and Asta Tinggi wasn’t damaged,” he said.

According to Ahmad, Asta Tinggi has Western and Eastern structures with quite different styles of architecture. Western tombs are typical of Javanese Mataram-style buildings where early monarchs were buried such as Raden Ayu Mas Ireng, Pengeran Jimat and Bendara Saud.

Eastern tombs show a blend of Arab, Chinese, European and Javanese patterns. Among those buried there are Panembahan Sumolo and Sultan Abdurrahman. “Hundreds of graves lie in the cemetery that mostly belong to royal families,” he pointed out.

Ahmad said some research indicated the influence of Chinese, Islamic and European structural designs in Asta Tinggi. Chinese patterns can be found in decorations and carvings. European styles are noticeable in the fences surrounding the cemetery compound.

“The gate in the eastern yard of Asta Tinggi has a British touch. Islamic culture is apparent in the form of graves and the calligraphy on inscriptions and gravestones,” he said, adding the foreign and Islamic cultural mix had long testified to the existence of pluralism in Madura.

— JP/Indra Harsaputra

West Java, Depok, Masjid Kubah Emas Dian Al-Mahri

West Java, Depok, Masjid Kubah Emas Dian Al-Mahri

Click to Enlarge !


Masjid Dian Al-Mahri, or well known as Masjid Kubah Emas, located in Maruyung Raya, kel. Maruyung Kecamatan Lumo, Depok. The capasities of this glorious Mosque is not quite much. around 20 thousand poeple could fit in this Mosque, the land area is about 70 hectares. this Mosque was built in 1999. Owned by a businessman from Banten called Hj Dian Juriah Maimun Al Rasyid, and his wife Drs H. Maimun Al Rasyid that already bought this area since 1996. Masjid Al Mahri opened in public since 31st December 2006. The exact time with Idul Adha 1427 H. The building of this Mosque has an area around 60 x 120 metres or about 8.000 square feet. Consist of the main building, mezamin, inner courtyard, hallways, outside hallways and space shoes. This Mosque is one of the greatest Mosque in Southeast Asia. Masjid Al-Mahri has 5 domes. 1 main dome and 4 small domes. the whole domes covered with gold as thin as 2 to 3 millimeters with mosaic crystals. The under part of the dome has a diameter around 16 meters. The diameter of the middle part is around 20 meters, and the height is around 25 meters. The 4 others Domes is under 6 meters. The decoration on top is made of 18 carat gold and so is the fence on the second floor and ornate calligraphy on the ceiling of the Mosque. The crown pillar of the Mosque has 168 pieces layered with prado gold. The main hall of the Mosque has a size around 45 x 57 meter, and 6 minarets is clad in gray granite from Italy with a circular ornament. Some of the materials imported from Italy.

This Mosque is open for the public, and closed every Thursday. Visitors are free to go in and out of the Mosque. However there are some rules for the visitors: to get into the Mosque you have to wear a proper clothes, especially a woman, every woman should wear a veil or a headscarves. and of course, we have to take off our shoes and sandals, and we should left our sandals and shoes outside of the Mosque.

East Java, Tuban Grand Mosque

East Java, Tuban Grand Mosque

Click to Enlarge !


Get the beautiful sceneries and amazing tropical culture in Tuban. Tuban is an ancient town located at west of Surabaya around 100 kilometers. As an ancient town, Tuban has historical and cultural values. Moreover, the most amazing one is the beauty of the sceneries such as beaches, caves, and forest, especially the teak forest.

Furthermore, you may enjoy some interesting places in Tuban with your family, such as; Akbar cave, Ngerong Cave, Kwan Sing Bio Temple, Bekti Harjo Hot Spring, Perataan Hot Spring, etc.

West Java, Cirebon, Kelenteng Dewi Welas Asih, Chinese Temple

Cirebon, Kelenteng Dewi Welas Asih, Chinese Temple


Kelenteng Dewi Welas Asih Cirebon

This is one of the oldest temples in Cirebon, West Java, Indonesia, Kelenteng Dewi Welas Asih. As the name stated, this temple is dedicated to the Goddess Guan Yin (Kwan Im) whom in Bahasa Indonesia often referred to “Dewi Welas Asih”.

I really love the ornaments on the exterior of this temple, especially those two castle-like ornaments on the roof. There are mythical creatures too such as dragons, phoenix, and on the top center of the roof is i believe a Qilin (Kie Lin).

This temple has 18 altars, each dedicated to a specific Deity such as Guan Yin (Kwan Im), Guan Yu (Kwan Te Kun/Kwan Kong), Hok Tek Ceng Sin, Wei Tho Posat, and many Others