Dubbed "The Jewel of Asia" and "Queen of the East" in the 16th century by European sailors, Old Jakarta or Batavia, as it was named by the Dutch is rich of history.
When I was back home in Jakarta on holiday I decided to visit the city center of Jakarta (Batavia) with my father. We visited museums, the intan bridge and of course we had a drink at Batavia Café.
We left our house early in the morning and when we arrived in Batavia we parked the car near the Intan City Bridge. This Bridge is located at Jalan Nelayan Barat. It’s the old bridge in Jakarta that has a large role in the development of history of the city. It had changed its name several times before it was called Jembatan Kota Intan (Kota Intan Bridge) Originally in 1628 this bridge was built under the name of “Engelse Brug” (English Bridge), because it connected the Dutch fortress with the English fortress that lay opposite each other, bordered by Ciliwung River. The Bridge is still in very well condition but is not used anymore, pity that there is trash floating in Ciliwung river because it deserves more touristic attention. We walked towards Merdeka Square and looked around the old Dutch colonial buildings.
Merdeka Square conceals a long history. From a grazing field it became a military training ground in 1809. It was then renamed Koningsplein (King’s Square) in 1816 and Lapangan Gambir toward the end of the 19th century, during which it also hosted an annual night fair. Finally, it became Merdeka Square (the Freedom Square) in 1975. This square is very relaxing to hang out on a cool day and not forget to mention that its very picturesque.
It was mid day the sun is high so we decided to have a drink at Batavia Café. It is located near the Fatahillah Museum. The restaurant is housed in a 19th-century colonial era building, the second oldest on Fatahillah Square. Filled with antiques and original fixtures from the period, you’ll feel like you are stepping back in time the moment you enter. Hundreds of pictures of bygone eras line the walls and provide a trip down memory lane.
After a nice fresh drink we continued to The Fatahillah Museum. This old City Hall of Batavia occupies the site of its two predecessors. The current building of fine Dutch architecture was completed in 1710 and once served many civic and judiciary functions. Beneath the front portico lie some cells which were used as dungeons. The museum took over the premises in 1974 and offers a fine glimpse into the city’s colonial past.
We ended our visit at the City Station (which is not the main train station in Jakarta) Jakarta Kota Station is a train station at the west of Jakarta, Indonesia. The station was appointed as a historical and cultural landmark in 1993. The station was first named as the Batavia Zuid (South Batavia), the name of which was used until at the end of the 19th century. But now the station is knows as BEOS station as an abbreviation from the Bataviasche Ooster Spoorweg Maatschapij or the East Batavia’s Train Transportation Company. There are a lot more things to see in Batavia such as Wayang Museum, Museum Bahari, Fine Arts and Ceramics Museum, Jakarta Historical Museum, Toko Merah (Red store) and much more. We didn’t have the time because we didn’t want to miss visiting The Port of Sunda Kelapa.