Want to learn more about our beloved capital city’s history? Museums are the place to visit.
Luthfiya Naifa Putri on Jul 09, 2018
1. Monumen Nasional (National Monument)
One of Jakarta’s most legendary icons, the National Monument (MONAS), is located in Merdeka Square, Central Jakarta. On top of the tower resides a 45kg gold flame statue that is 17 metres tall and which weighs 14.5 tons. MONAS was built to mark Indonesian independence on August 17, 1945, along with a growth in the patriotic spirit of present and future generations.
Location: Gambir, Central Jakarta
2. Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (MACAN) Museum
The Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (MACAN) Museum is the first museum in Indonesia that displays contemporary Indonesian and international art collections. These collections are the personal trove of Haryanto Adikoesoemo—a businessmean and avid art collector. The museum also has an active program of exhibitions and events featured within its 4,000-square-metre facility, including on-site education and conservation spaces. Location: AKR Tower Level MM, Jalan Perjuangan No. 5, Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta
3. Museum Nasional Indonesia (Indonesia National Museum)
After you visit MONAS, you might also want to visit Museum Nasional Indonesia. Known by many as Museum Gajah (Elephant Museum), because of the elephant statue in front of the museum building, Museum Nasional Indonesia is home to myriad ancient objects from across the archipelago, such as ancient statues, inscriptions, and handicraft items. The collections also feature ethnography, bronze, prehistory, ceramics, textiles, numismatics, historical relics, rare books, and other precious objects. Location: Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No. 12, Central Jakarta
4. Textile Museum
With the importance of textiles in Indonesia, Museum Tekstil serves as a cultural education institution with a mission to ensure the conservation of traditional textiles. One of the highlights at the Museum Tekstil is the Galeri Batik and Kebun Pewarna Alam, where visitors can learn about color-producing plants that can be used as traditional cloth dyes. Meanwhile, there is also Ruang Pengenalan Wastra, which presents a collection of looms from various regions and also provides information on raw materials and the process of making traditional Indonesian fabrics. Location: Jl. Ks. Tubun No. 2-4, Kota Bambu Sel., Palmerah, West Jakarta (https://museumtekstiljakarta.com/)
5. Taman Arkeologi Onrust
Onrust Island is located in the Thousand Islands area (Kepulauan Seribu). In the Dutch colonial era, people referred to this island as “Kapal Island” because it was often visited by Dutch ships before they headed to Batavia—the Jakarta of old. There are many archaeological relics from the Dutch colonial period in Taman Arkeologi Onrust, such as a Dutch fortress and quarantine house of Hajj pilgrims with the purpose of familiarising the pilgrims with sea weather because at that time it would took months to reach Makkah by sea.
6. Museum Bank Indonesia (Bank Indonesia Museum)
Do you want to go back in time? If yes, Museum Bank Indonesia will take you there, walking through various eras. It all started when Europeans came to Indonesia to search for herbs, as did Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie from the Netherlands, which sought to monopolise Asia’s trading activities and soon became the forerunner of Indonesia’s banking operations and introduced the system to the country. Visitors can learn more of Indonesia’s banking history here. Location: Jl. Pintu Besar Utara No. 3, West Jakarta
7. Museum Perangko Indonesia (Indonesia Stamp Museum)
Photo: Courtesy of Hello Catering Bekasi
Museum Perangko Indonesia is the home of many postage stamps and was established through an idea of Mrs Tien Soeharto, a former first lady. When you first arrive at Museum Perangko, you will see the majestic carvings and sculptures of Bali and Java surrounded by a wall fence with two gates that take the basic model of Candi Bentar. There are six showrooms in Museum Perangko, and each of them showcases myriad stamp collections from all around the world. Location: Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
8. Taman Prasasti Museum
Photo: Courtesy of Eko Dedi Amir Nugroho
Don’t be surprised when you enter Museum Taman Prasasti as you will be welcomed by two antique wagon corpses since the museum was formerly a cemetery. As you go in further, the museum also boasts a collection of ancient headstone inscriptions as well as miniature tombs typical from the 27 provinces in Indonesia. The 1.2-hectare museum also features artworks from international sculptors, calligraphers, and writers. Location: Jalan Tanah Abang No. 1, Central Jakarta