The Background of the Establishment of the Jakarta History Museum: An Icon of the Capital City Not to Be Missed!

As we know that Jakarta is a metropolitan city that holds a lot of history related to the struggle of the Indonesian nation against the post-Independence invaders. In Jakarta itself, there are now many historical museums that can be visited with the aim of knowing what historical stories were like in the past. Well, one of the museums recommended for you is the Jakarta History Museum.

A Brief History of the Establishment of the Jakarta History Museum

Initially, the Jakarta History Museum was used for the city hall building. Around 1707-1710 this building was built and was also the second city hall building built during the reign of the Dutch VOC. In addition to functioning as a city hall building, it also serves as a spin records office, Township council, courts and Sunday places of worship for residents.

The construction of the building was an order from General Johan Van Hoorn who was the governor at that time. Although by order of Johan Van Hoorn, the groundbreaking was carried out by his daughter, Petrolina Willhelmina Van Horn, on January 25, 1707. Furthermore, on July 10, 1710, the building was inaugurated where construction was completed during the reign of Governor-General Abraham van Riebeeck.

After the construction was completed, this building functioned as a West Java government office in 1925 – 1942. After becoming a government office, this building later changed its function as an office that functioned to collect Dai Nippon logistics in 1942 – 1945. In 1952, the Jakarta History Museum building  was then used as the Headquarters of the City Military Command which later became Kodim 0503 West Jakarta.

After changing many functions from year to year, this building was finally handed over to the DKI Jakarta Regional Government in 1968 and functioned as a museum in 1974. The inauguration of this museum was carried out by the Governor of Jakarta who was in office at that time, namely Ali Sadikin.

The architecture of the building from the Jakarta History Museum is very unique and distinctive by carrying a neoclassical style.  The area of this building also reaches 1,300 square meters where there is a yard arranged in a block and equipped with a pond decorated with old trees.

The Jakarta History Museum building also consists of 3 floors painted with yellow earth. The windows and door frames are also made of old teak wood which makes it look elegant and classic.  There is also an underground room where during the colonial period the room was used as a prison. Jakarta History Museum is located on Jalan Taman Fatahillah Number 1, West Jakarta which is known as the Kota Tua Tourist Area.

Jakarta History Museum Collection

Jakarta History Museum has approximately 23,500 historical collections starting from prehistoric times to the present. The collection, of course, comes in both original and replica form. The collections of this museum include excavations in the form of archaeology found in the city of Jakarta, antique furniture a combination of Indonesian, European and Chinese styles and replicas of relics in the Tarumanegara period.

Not only that, this museum also has a large collection of cultural customs and many more. Various collections at the Jakarta History Museum are placed in each exhibition room differently adapted to the original period.

The exhibition rooms such as Sultan room, MH room, Jayakarta room, Agung room, Jakarta Prehistory room and Tarumanegara Room. As mentioned above, if each room has a different collection, here are some of the collections:

  • Betawi Ethnography

The majority of the people who inhabit the city of Jakarta come from the Betawi tribe. Well, Betawi itself comes from the word Batavia which means multiethnic.  There are many collections in this museum related to the identity of the Betawi tribe ranging from typical Betawi musical instruments such as tambourine, kromong xylophone, tanjidor and many more.

Not only that, there is also a collection of Betawi traditional clothing which is a combination of various ethnicities, especially Arab and Chinese ethnicities. Betawi traditional clothes exhibited in this museum are official clothes, daily clothes to wedding clothes. There is also a history of soto betawi, the history of Jakarta to the history of Kota Tua Jakarta.

  • Islamic Collection

In addition to Betawi’s ethnography, there is another collection in this museum, namely a collection that concerns the traces of the history of the Islamic period in Jakarta. Some of the collections related to Islam include miniature replicas of old mosques ranging from the Angke mosque, Marunda mosque, Luar Batang mosque to Bandengan mosque. There are also archaeological  relics ranging from gravestones, pulpits of the Kampung Baru mosque, Cirebon cannons and many more.

  • Collections of Prehistoric times

The collection of the Jakarta History Museum then there are collections in prehistoric times. In this museum, archaeological  relics that have been found in prehistoric times are exhibited. Some of these collections include jewelry, metal, stone tools to pottery.

There are also some tools that have been found in the stone age such as splinters, asahan, square pickaxes as well as blade shales. There are also other interesting collections such as jugs, bronzes, fairies and many other collections.

  • Colonial Period Collections

Jakarta is also one of the areas that was once colonized by the Dutch and colonizers from other countries. Because of this, it is not surprising that there are several historical relics in the colonial period. There are many collections on display at the Jakarta History Museum that are related to the colonial period. Some of these collections include paintings of Governor-General Jan Pieterszoon, paintings of Willem Daendels, statues of God Hermes, large bookcases, execution swords, jarur cannons to paintings when Mataram attacked Batavia.

Those are some of the collections of the Jakarta History Museum which have always been an attraction for tourists to visit it. Every day except Mondays, this museum is always visited by tourists. Usually, tourists who visit prefer to be in the courtyard because they can take selfies.

Not far from the Jakarta History Museum, there are also several other historical museums that are no less interesting to visit. Some of these museums include:

  • Museum of Fine Arts and Kerami

This museum is very close to Fatahillah Museum. Tourists who visit can get out of the Old Town and then walk to the right to the museum. Now as the name implies, in this museum there are various collections of ceramic crafts and arts that are stared at very neatly.

  • Jakarta Maritime Museum

Furthermore, there is also the Jakarta Maritime museum which is located about 1.3 km from the Fatahillah museum. The Maritime Museum comes with a wide collection of nautical-related historical objects. In this museum, tourists can know the history of Batavia.

  • Independent Museum

A visit to the Jakarta History Museum will certainly not be complete if you don’t visit the Mandiri museum. The museum is also 400 meters from the Jakarta History Museum. The independent museum is very spacious where there is a large collection of antique items and equipment related to the National bank.

The Jakarta History Museum is also known as the Fatahillah museum, it is indeed a tourist icon of the City of Jakarta so that if you visit this city, it is incomplete if you don’t visit the museum. May it be useful!