Jakarta Old Town aka Old Batavia, or locally referred to as 'Kota Tua Jakarta', was the downtown area of the capital long ago, bearing silent witness to the occupation of the Dutch East India Company. A walk through town will immerse you in streetscapes lined with buildings boasting architectural features of a bygone era and in some corners around town you’ll find what is considered among the best samples of Dutch colonial architecture in the region.
Consistent with the nostalgic aura of the old town, most of the museums in Jakarta are found within Kota Tua. These include the Jakarta History Museum, otherwise known as the Fatahillah Museum, after the admiral and national hero who gave Jakarta its primordial name, ‘Jayakarta’, literally ‘town of victory’. Other museums include the Indonesian Maritime Museum, two bank museums namely Bank Mandiri and Bank Indonesia, the Wayang or Puppet Museum, and the Museum of Sculpture and Ceramic Arts.
An interesting fact is that most of these museums are former colonial buildings and restored by retaining much of their original architectural features. The ceramic arts museum for example, was a Dutch courthouse, and Fatahillah was once the town hall of Batavia. The national archive building, or Gedung Arsip Nasional, which can also be found here, was the former residence of Dutch East Indies governor general Reynier de Klerck.
While most of the buildings are in a somewhat derelict state despite some functioning as museums, continuous restoration efforts have been proposed, with the latest agenda of pushing the old town spanning 130Ha to be included in UNESCO’s world heritage list. Entrance fees to most museums start from a mere IDR 2,000 per person and are generally open from 09:00 to 15:00.
Jakarta Old Town
- Opening Hours: Jalan Taman Fatahillah No.1, West Jakarta, Jakarta