Home Indonesia Jakarta A gem in Jakarta: Old Batavia

    A gem in Jakarta: Old Batavia

    Formed of thousands of islands, Jakarta is the most crowded city and capital city of Indonesia, as well as the economic, cultural and political center of the country. The name of the city comes from "Jayakarta", a Sanskrit word meaning victory.

    Dubbed “The Jewel of Asia” and “Queen of the East”, the city of Jakarta was founded in an area known as Kota Tua in Old Batavia. Located in the northwest of the city, Old Batavia is one of the places you should definitely visit when you are in Jakarta.

    The residential area known as Jayakarta was destroyed by The Dutch East India Company (VOC) in 1619, and was rebuilt the next year. VOC named this new city “Batavia” after the Batavieren, its ancestors from antiquity. This city was built in a European Flemish style, with streets separated by channels, was the eastern center of VOC up until 1650.

    You will see a number of historical structures when you visit this region. But unfortunately, most of these buildings have fallen into ruin because of lack of maintenance. However, many non-governmental organizations and the government have now started projects for the restoration of this area.

    In this region, one of the places that impressed me most was Cafe Batavia, which was created by conversion of a 200 year-old building in 1991. On entering this cafe, you will immediately fall under the spell of two centuries of history. You can take a short break or have lunch here while touring the area.

    Some of the historical structures you can find nearby are:

    • Jakarta History Museum (The Old Municipal Building)
    • Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics (The Old Court of Justice Building)
    • Pasar Ikan (Fish Market)
    • Luar Batang Mosque 
    • Jakarta Kota Railway

    The Port of Jakarta is another area you should definitely visit. On the waterfront, you can tour the port as well as the nearby fishing village, with trips organized by the tourist office in the area. The ancient cargo ships that were used over 100 years ago which remain in the port are well worth seeing. You can also take a trip on a small-motor boat to the fishing village, which is right next to the port. Here, you will get a real sense of the poverty experienced by the local inhabitants. If you are willing to try new tastes and be a bit adventurous with your food, this village will offer you an exciting eating experience.

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